A photographer reached out to me on an Instagram comment after reading my recent post about the lack of diversity on wedding blogs, publications and feature accounts. She wanted to know how to respond when she is approached by a publication to submit a Black wedding to feature on their platform. She is concerned if doing so feeds into the problem of tokenism – while at the same time, she wants her work and that of the talented Black vendors to be out on blogs and publications.
I figured, if she is contemplating these questions, it is very likely that a number of other photographers are doing the same as well.
I don’t have all the answers. I truly just want to help make this industry more diverse and inclusive – I spend a lot of time thinking and educating myself about these issues. All I am doing here is sharing my observations and point-of-view.
It is tokenism if they are looking to feature Black weddings purely for optics and to avoid criticism. Therefore, it is important to determine whether or not they are truly doing the work to become a platform that values diversity and inclusion.
I personally believe that it matters where your images are featured. My advice to you is to be selective about where you submit your images and ensure that your values are aligned.
Therefore, if you are not sure about whether or not the featuring Black weddings is just them jumping on the bandwagen for the moment instead of a long-term commitment, take the time to do the research and request additional information.
Here are three potential questions you can pose:
- Are you committed to featuring Black weddings on a regular basis moving forward?
- Are you working towards increasing diversity in your vendor recommendations?
- What concrete changes are you making internally to integrate anti-racism practices?
And down the line, if you notice that they have slipped back into their old ways, hold them accountable.
I hope that you found this helpful. If you have any additonal ideas, thoughts or observations, please share them in the comments below…
I’m Aida, a European intimate wedding and elopement photographer. I provide wedding photographers with the inspiration, tools and resources needed to build a sustainable brand and business. Click here for more about me.