About us

What we want

Gesellschaftsbilder.de is a photo database for editors, media makers, bloggers and all interested people who are looking for images far away from clichés for their work. The photo database is meant to be an offer to depict the diversity of society.

Why a photo database?

Images create a reality. They have an immediate effect and are universally understandable. And photos are becoming more and more important: 20 years ago, 25% of the content of a large German weekly newspaper was filled with pictures, today it is already 35%. Photos show a section of reality, which can be constructed depending on the perspective chosen. Often photos of people with disabilities are stereotypical and reduced to the disability.

The online service Gesellschaftsbilder.de wants to avoid these clichés and instead show diversity.

What does stereotype-free images mean?

Photographers who make their pictures available for the database have dealt with the issue of stereotype-free reporting through their work with Leidmedien.de and the Sozialhelden. From the beginning, they plan to show diversity in pictures, try to take perspectives "at eye level" and involve the protagonists in the creation process. In this way, the models also have an influence on how they are portrayed and how they want to be seen. A documentation of one of these workshops can be found here.

Before the pictures are made available in the database, the editors of Leidmedien.de and Gesellschaftsbilder check the content and technical aspects of the photos to ensure that they meet the requirements of editors.

Who can use the photo database?

"Gesellschaftsbilder.de" is a photo database for editors, media makers, bloggers and all interested parties who are looking for images far removed from clichés for their work. You can use the images free of charge, but please note the credits for the photographs. In addition, the photos can be licensed for a non-editorial purpose. You can find our price table here.

If you would like to use photos, please give us credit. If you cannot find suitable photos, please contact us.

If you are a photographer or editor and would like to contribute photo material, please contact us.

Who is behind the project?

Gesellschaftsbilder.de is run by the Berlin-based association SOZIALHELDEN e.V., which created wheelmap.org, the online map for wheelchair-accessible places. Another project is Leidmedien.de, an online portal that aims to sensitise journalists to stereotype-free reporting about people with disabilities. In workshops for editorial offices, we were often asked whether there is an image database with more diverse photos for media professionals. The SOZIALHELD*INNEN have developed Gesellschaftsbilder.de from this request.

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For more than 15 years, the Berlin-based association has wanted to draw attention to social problems with projects and, in the best case, eliminate them.

On this site, pictures can be searched for and used free of charge for editorial work. For other uses, we can put you in touch with the photographers or organisations.

How can I support your great work?

Thank you for asking! We are delighted if you draw attention to our offer in your digital and analogue networks. We are also looking for models for future photo productions, and you can sign up here. Unfortunately, the maintenance and development of the photo database also costs money, and therefore we also appreciate financial support in the form of donations (the money goes to Sozialhelden e.V. and is then used for the project).