Eric Berger
Mar 30, 2022

Celebrity Cruises taps Annie Leibovitz to create a diverse image library

The cruise line wants to help other travel brands use more diverse images for their content.

An Image from Celebrity Cruises' All-Inclusive Photo Project.
An Image from Celebrity Cruises' All-Inclusive Photo Project.

Celebrity Cruises has created “a diversity-focused open-source image library” that it wants other travel brands to tap into to use more diverse imagery in their brand content. 

The All-Inclusive Photo Project launched Tuesday with photos taken by Annie Leibovitz and other famous photographers of a “diverse group of individuals, representing different ethnicities, sexual orientations, abilities and sizes,” according to the company.

“Stock travel imagery has long been outdated, generic and not representative of all people who travel,” Michael Scheiner, chief marketing officer of Celebrity Cruises, stated in an email to Campaign US. “We have always made an effort to include diverse images across our own website and social media, but The All-Inclusive Photo Project was born from a recognition that more could — and should — be done. And not just for us, but for the travel industry as a whole.”

The lack of diversity in stock photography has attracted increased attention in recent years.

“Not only is there a limited amount of Black imagery available, I've noticed sites continue to circulate the same five Black images: a Black female hidden in the background of a boardroom, a Black man sipping on a coffee, an interracial couple (one of them being Black), a Black mother with her child, and a Black family watching TV,” journalist Natasha Marsh wrote on PopSugar in September 2020. “Why do these images populate over and over again? When you type in things like ‘travel,’ ‘office,’ ‘dancing,’ or ‘colored hair,’ though, only images of white people appear. But Black people like to travel, have office jobs, love to dance, and are constantly experimenting with our hair. So why isn't this shown?”

For the project, Leibovitz and photographers Naima Green, Giles Duley and Jarrad Seng shot photos of the subjects on Celebrity’s cruise ships and at destinations on the company’s itineraries, Scheiner explained. 

The photos show a “variety of trailblazing, diverse individuals enjoying the range of offerings across the fleet’s portfolio,” he added. “Together, we looked for real people breaking down barriers; game-changers serving as positive role models for others like them.”

The launch featured 100 images, and the company plans to work with more photographers and subjects to add to the collection.

“We want this campaign to be a positive catalyst for change, with Celebrity leading the way in encouraging the industry to be as reflective of the world of people who travel as it should be,” Scheiner stated.

Campaign US

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