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A Message About Representation and Inclusivity in the Wedding Photography Industry


To learn about the Black Lives Matter message and movement, please visit https://blacklivesmatter.com/

Please continue to learn, to educate yourself, to teach other, to share, to march, to protest, to demand for a change, to donate, to help one another.

This following blog post is not to take away meaning of George Floyd’s death and Black Lives Matter movement, rather, this blog post contains my personal opinions on actionable items the wedding photography industry can do to further advocate for equality and inclusivity.


Social injustices are like cancer cells. In the early stages, they grow within us but without us really knowing. Then there will be discomfort and there will be pain. Everything keeps growing until we hit a breaking point and the end results can be life and death. 

As we are fighting for justice for George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others we don’t even know their names because their murders weren’t reported or video recorded, let’s fight for solutions (laws, policy change, legislative reforms, educational materials, representation in media) so that we don’t have to fight for anymore murders of Black people. Yes this is bigger than each one of us but it needs to start within us.


These murders stem from a long long long history of systemic racism. To be a voice for justice, we have to learn about the oppression and  disparities Black people as well as other minority groups face: access to healthcare, access to education, social economic status, wealth, income, etc…


As a wedding photographer, I know that this topic is bigger than me but I want to contribute whatever I can within my power for this movement. I can’t speak for anyone else but I do want to address within the wedding photography industry so I can advocate for BIPOC and other underrepresented groups (gender, sexuality, body sizes and shapes, etc…).


I don’t consider myself a leader. I don’t consider myself the expert in systemic racism, police brutality, discrimination, homophobia, or any other subtopic within social injustice. What I am is: A person who’s trying to do what I can to educate myself and those around me. I plan on learning everyday and I plan on sharing for as long as the knowledge I share is helpful in any ways possible.


I want to talk about REPRESENTATION AND INCLUSIVITY

1) Many are out there protesting, some are still trying to learn, many are being vocal, some are working multiple jobs to feed their family. Some are so disgusted and distraught they cant find words. People grieve differently, people mourn differently. It doesn’t matter how many Instagram followers one has, if you see someone who are sharing but not as active as you think they should in sharing news articles or links to donate, don’t bully them as long as we are all fighting for the same goals. Public shaming is destructive. Reach out on a personal level. If you truly care, talk!. Do your part so you can inspire others to do their parts.


2) Share appropriately: Do your research, learn about effective ways to be an advocate and an ally. Don’t just share something or post something because someone else is doing it. Verify the source yourselves before hitting that “Share” button as we all just saw in Black Out Tuesday and how many didn’t even know they were hurting the BLM movements by not doing it correctly. (Why posting a black image with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ hashtag could be doing more harm than good)

Share if you have 1 follower, share if you have 100 followers. Following counts don’t matter. The information you share matters.

3) Within your own company (photography, videography, wedding planning, catering, florals, etc) showcase the beauty of your clients no matter how they look. Don’t post photos of BIPOC, LGBT and other underrepresented groups with a caption to make a point about how you’re an ally without their approval first because that is tokenism. People are not props. Do share their photos year round. Caption their photos just like you would if they were a heteronormative white couple with “normal” body sizes. (Please see that “normal” is in quotation mark!). Photographers, learn these 5 ways to be a truly inclusive wedding photographer.

Source: SAORI + DEVANTE

4) As we have seen so many BIG wedding blogs and magazines started posting photos of Black couples as some sort of backpedaling PR move, I want you to look through their websites and instagrams throughout the year to look for how they have been inclusive on their platforms. Have they been consistent in encouraging and promoting inclusivity year round or are they doing it because they truly believe or are they doing it because it’s a “hot topic” and “everyone is doing it”? Learn about the companies you’re supporting so they can support those without voices.


5) Wedding magazine editors / bloggers, if you happen to see this message, I would love for you to see how plan on implementing change. Yes encouraging your followers to donate is so crucial right now but what are your long term plans?

We all need to understand the difference between Equality and Equity when it comes to helping others. In the wedding publication world, Equality is to ensure you every single photographer and couple have equal opportunities to submit their photos to you. Equity is to ensure those with less privileges get enough resources + support get to the same spot as their privileged counterparts.

Here’s an illustrated version of Equality vs Equity

So wedding blogs and publications, Knowing what we know about disparities that can cause underrepresentation of BIPOC, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, immigrants in the wedding photography world, what can you do to make sure wedding photos from these couples are being shown more often? What can you do to make sure work of wedding vendors from these minority groups are being featured more often as they have to work way harder to be not nearly half as successful as their white heteronormative counterparts.


This blog post is to share words from my heart about what we can do better for the under-represented people around us.

If you have more tips and education on how to help one another, please share in the comment below or share with me personally via email.

To learn more about how to educate yourselves further on how to be a better ally to further social justice, read this awesome list of resources created by HoneyBook HERE

To learn more about ways to help with education and with the BLM movement visit https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/


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