There is still so much work to be done, friends.
The last few weeks I’ve been asking myself hard questions and have been taking a good look at myself and my business in the mirror, breaking down piece-by-piece my thought patterns these last few years and how I’ve been growing my business.
I’d say about 85-90% of my clientele are caucasian. I think over the last two years, I had the mindset of: “Share only the most recent work” because in-part, not only have my images upleveled but also because as an artist, it’s easy to become emotionally attached to the process and work it takes to grow in the technicalities of being a photographer – understanding light, film, refining the way I edit. There’s a lot of work that doesn’t get shared here, not because of any dislike for a particular event or client, but because it wasn’t, in my terms, an “ideal” lighting/color/timing scenario.
I truly believe, that in turn, I have unintentionally isolated others from feeling like they could see myself in my work. My intentions were good, but the conversation is truly more so about the IMPACT of our actions, no matter how good our intentions may have been.
I know, that even from a personal standpoint, I don’t like to hire vendors who can’t work with my features (hello, makeup!) or who make my skin look too white or orange (I’m literally a light golden brown, y’all). So, this definitely hits me.
I wanted to share some of the questions that I’ve been working through, in hopes that you take action to change as well:
1. How do I allow my black (and other POC) friends, vendors, and contractors to feel seen and heard, without feeling as if they’re being used or exploited?
2. How, as a minority person of color, do I fit in, respond, and take action moving forward in the conversation of race, especially within the white-washed wedding industry?
3. How, within our very white-washed wedding & beauty industries, can I be deliberate in the work I create and moving forward (while keeping in mind question 1)?
Thanks for listening and being here. Let’s strive to keep doing the inner work and moving forward in hope & change, together. Art by @timothygoodman