Corbis Images: A Journey through Its Legacy and Collection

Have you ever questioned the source of those iconic images that color our world, evoking strong emotions and leaving an indelible mark on history? The ones that stir emotions, spark conversations, and become a part of history. Many such visuals trace their roots back to Corbis Images.

Beyond being just another stock photo agency, Corbis has crafted an illustrious legacy in the creative community. Founded by tech visionary Bill Gates and later acquired by Visual China Group, its story is as captivating as its vast collection.

This tale isn’t about a regular corporation; it’s akin to the journey of an independent art curator who fled Nazi Germany with historic troves hidden away in suitcases. And we’re here today on this exciting voyage through time and pixels!

You’re probably wondering, “What makes Corbis so special?” Get ready to take a peek inside one of the most expansive collections available!

Overview of Corbis Images

Born out of Bill Gates’ vision in 1989, Corbis Images grew to become a powerhouse in the stock photo industry. Known for its rich legacy and comprehensive collection, this photo agency made high-quality images accessible worldwide.

The Seattle-based Corbis Corporation was more than just a creative resource; it served as an inspiration for the global creative community. Its image library wasn’t limited to contemporary visual images but also included historical treasures like photos from Iron Mountain’s Bettmann Archive.

In an unexpected turn of events, Visual China Group acquired Corbis Images in 2016. This marked not only the end of an era but also paved way for exciting new opportunities with Getty Images handling distribution outside Asia.

A strategic move that ensured continued access to Corbis’ impressive array of rights-managed and royalty-free stock photos globally. From New York City’s bustling streets to work crews perched on skyscrapers – if you needed a single image or entire series, chances are you’d find them at Corbis.

The Comprehensive Collection of Corbis Images

When discussing Corbis Images, we’re looking into a vast store of more than just generic stock photos. This library, which boasts over 100 million images, is not only extensive but also diverse in its content.

Scope and Variety in Collection

This vast reservoir includes everything from contemporary shots to historic masterpieces. Whether you’re an art curator seeking fine quality images or part of a work crew perched on the edge of innovation needing cutting-edge visuals, Corbis has got your back.

Included within this comprehensive collection are some of the most recognizable photographic images ever produced. It’s as if each single image tells its own story; they range from royalty-free stock pictures perfect for commercial use to rights managed images reserved for those unique projects requiring exclusive licensing.

Incorporation of Other Brands

Apart from being a standalone powerhouse, Corbis served as an umbrella encompassing other influential brands like Veer and Corbis Motion. Plus it included GreenLight—a renowned rights clearance agency—all contributing to the richness and versatility inherent in their offerings.

It’s no wonder why many consider this platform an invaluable resource when it comes to visual storytelling—truly embodying Bill Gates’ vision when he founded Corbis Corporation.

The Legacy of Corbis Images

A look into the rich legacy that has been built by Corbis’ extensive archive efforts.

Famous Collections and Historic Photographs

Corbis Images has made an everlasting impression on the domain of stock photography. Its rich legacy is anchored in its extensive archive efforts, showcasing a blend of historic and contemporary visual images.

A key feature that sets Corbis apart from other photo agencies is its famous collections such as the Bettmann Archive. Otto Bettmann, an independent art curator fled Nazi Germany with thousands of photos stashed away in his luggage. His collection eventually found a home at Corbis, making it one of the most comprehensive collections worldwide.

Beyond preserving historical moments through photographs like those featuring Rosa Parks or Marilyn Monroe, Corbis’ commitment to quality images made it stand out. The agency maintained a vast client base consisting not only creatives but also news outlets seeking royalty-free stock and rights-managed images for their projects.

The Acquisition and the Future

In 2016, Visual China Group acquired all rights to Corbis’ Images, effectively dissolving it as an independent entity. Yet even though the name no longer exists independently today, its spirit lives on within Getty’s Image Collection where many photographers continue contributing high-quality work under this renowned brand’s banner.

Getty Images as the Distributor for Corbis Images

The relationship between Getty Images and Corbis images is a critical one. It’s akin to two industry giants shaking hands, providing worldwide access to rich visual content.

The Partnership Deal

In 2016, an unexpected turn of events unfolded. Getty Images became the distributor for all of Corbis’ images outside Asia. This move gave Getty unprecedented access to some of the most recognizable photographic images in history.

Impact on Global Access

This partnership deal expanded global reach like never before. Suddenly, media professionals from New York City to small-town agencies had unfettered access to high-quality images from around the world at their fingertips – no more rummaging through multiple platforms or dealing with licensing complexities across borders.

Corbis Images for Media Professionals

Media professionals often need access to a diverse array of visual images. Corbis, with its rich legacy and comprehensive collection, is an excellent resource.

The Value Proposition for Media Professionals

In the fiercely competitive media landscape, having access to high-caliber visuals can make or break a project. That’s where Corbis comes in. Offering rights-managed content along with royalty-free stock photos makes it flexible for various projects.

Ace your creative endeavors by harnessing Corbis’ client base. It’s not just about using any image; it’s about finding that single image that conveys your message perfectly.

Licensing Options

To cater to different needs, Corbis provides two main types of licensing: Rights Managed (RM) and Royalty Free (RF). The RM option lets you use recognizable photographic images exclusively within specific parameters like location and duration.

If exclusivity isn’t what you’re after but simplicity is – opt for RF. You get worldwide access to use the purchased photo multiple times across platforms without worrying about additional fees.

FAQs in Relation to Corbis Images

What happened to Corbis Images?

Visual China Group snapped up Corbis Images in 2016. Now, Getty Images distributes its collection outside Asia.

What is Corbis Images?

A former stock photo agency founded by Bill Gates, Corbis had a vast image library that’s now under Visual China Group and Getty Images.


Corbis Images is more than just a stock photo agency; it’s a living archive of our shared visual history. This powerhouse, born from the vision of Bill Gates and nurtured by Visual China Group, offers an unparalleled variety in its collection.

You’ve discovered Corbis’ unique journey that mirrors an independent art curator fleeing Nazi Germany with historic treasures. You’ve also seen how their partnership with Getty Images has opened up worldwide access to this trove.

The takeaway? Whether you’re part of the media industry or simply have a passion for photography, remember: behind every single image lies an incredible story waiting to be told.

As we wrap up this tour through pixels and time, let Corbis remind us all – images are not just about capturing moments but creating narratives that stand the test of time!

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