Disclaimer: In this post, I am addressing the wedding industry in Europe and America. Moreover, I am sharing my point-of-view and do NOT speak for all Black people. In addition, I recognise that there are a number of Minorities affected by the lack of representation in the wedding industry – at this moment, I am focusing on the underrepresentation of Black people (which can be further applied to other minority groups).
This article is particularly helpful for the editorial team of wedding blogs, publications and feature accounts. At the same time, I encourage photographers and other wedding industry vendors to read it as well.
The underrepresentation of Black people on many mainstream wedding blogs, publications and feature accounts has been a persistent issue for many years.
In conversations that I have been having and statements that I have been reading on social media, a top reason (excuse) for this being the case is that they are barely receiving submissions from photographers that include Black couples.
This may very well be true, but let us dig a little deeper as to the possible reasons:
- Being constantly turned away
I have read a ton of comments from photographers the past few days on social media saying that they have submitted images with diverse couples to get published multiple times only to be met with constant rejections (mind you, I cannot speak to the quality/style of the images, but this is coming from a number of photographers.)
Understandably, these photographers began to discontinue sending in further images for consideration to those who turned them away.
- You get what you show
When a photographer is preparing to submit a wedding/elopement/styled shoot/engagement session etc., one of criteria considered is whether or not the images fit well in terms of what is already being showcased on the platform. If there is a lack of diverse couples being shown, the logical assumption is that they are not welcome.
Some wedding blogs, publications and feature accounts have simply gained a reputation for prefering to showcase Caucasian couples. Their constant disregard for representation has led to photographers boycotting them.
One thing has become crystal clear to me the past few days.
Actually, there isn’t a lack of amazingly gorgeous images of Black couples! A number of mainstream wedding blogs, publications and feature accounts on Instagram seem to have pulled them out from somewhere in their archives, because they are posting them on the daily!
Hmmm makes one wonder…
By now, if you have been reading my recent posts, you know my stance: it’s not about shaming, it’s about educating!
I say this to the editorial team of mainstream wedding blogs, publications and feature accounts with a lack of diversity:
Yes, the representation of Black couples is long-overdue and you have fallen-short in this area. If you truly are committed to featuring more diverse couples, you need to do the work not only on the surface level, but internally as well. Real, long-lasting change starts with your core values.
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.