Naomi Campbell's Recent Cover Is Shockingly Her First Ever Mainstream Fashion Shoot With Black Photographer

Naomi Campbell's Recent Cover Is Shockingly Her First Ever Mainstream Fashion Shoot With Black Photographer

Thirty three and a half years as one of the most successful models on the planet and Naomi Campbell has only just completed a mainstream fashion shoot with a black photographer for the first time.

Few names come to mind quicker than Naomi Campbell's when you think of supermodels. Both Campbell and Kate Moss have been titans in the industry for decades and remain relevant and important today. With such an expansive career, you can't imagine there's much Campbell hasn't seen in the fashion world, least of all a shoot with a black photographer. However, Campbell's recent shoot for British publication The Guardian in their "Weekend" magazine was just that, teaming up with photographer Campbell Addy.

Campbell writes "It’s my first time in thirty three and a half years, shooting with a black photographer in mainstream fashion." I had to double take reading that the first time. I'm aware of imbalances in professional photography and here on Fstoppers it has been discussed many times, but I don't think I quite appreciate the disparity in representation of different ethnicities. Fashion as an industry has been called out on this regularly this century, with a lack of diversity in almost all facets of the profession. I just hadn't considered how prevalent that imbalance might be in photography too. Upon sharing the image, Addy wrote:

It’s a very surreal moment after the longest flight of my life and to see this be shared with you all. Firstly to have shot the icon that’s Ms Naomi and two for her to reveal that it’s the first time in over THREE decades that she’s been photographed by another black person in mainstrean[sic] fashion... let that sink in people... I am very blessed to be alive and working today, so thank you to everyone that’s made my existence possible. Here’s to many more shoots together 

Is the lack of diversity in photography something you have noticed? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Lead image by Christopher Macsurak via Wikimedia used under Creative Commons.

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Previous comments
Jacques Cornell's picture

Before you go off on a rant, answer this: Did I say it should be balanced? If you're not curious about whether the imbalance exists or, if it does, the reasons for it, I invite you to simply move on to the next article.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Rant ? You posed a question and i answered, you might not like the answer but that is beside the point.

You seem to forget you responded to my post and asked a question, if you can't muster the courage to engage in a civil discussion just say so, don't use excuses just because you did not like the answer.

You also seem incapable of answering my questions yet you pose new ones...

I told you precisely why I don't care about the color of people's skin, to this point you haven't told me jack other than to move on to the next article... which is all but contributing to the discussion.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Wow, lotsa hostility over...what, exactly? Seems some folks around here simply don't want the topic to be discussed or even noted.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Jacques Cornell Hostility? What exactly in my responses towards you do you find hostile? The fact I share my opinion and answered your question?

Our definition of hostility is obviously planets apart.

The fact is you are the one who does not want to engage and discuss the subject matter, the only thing you have said is that you're "curious" and find it "interesting", and then tell people to move on once we actually get to why some of us reason and think as we do.

Kind of childish behavior and certainly not in the spirit of discussing the topic.

So instead of the passive-aggressive attitude trying to tell rest that we do not want to discuss the topic, try to actually engage and answer some questions your self instead of posing new ones.

Jacques Cornell's picture

OK, I get it. You wish the whole subject of disproportionately low representation of women and minorities in the photography profession would just go away, and you resent anyone bringing it up, which is why you react with knee-jerk hostility to an article which does nothing more than observe that the phenomenon exists. I don't know why that might be. Nobody is threatening to stop you from being a photographer in an effort to impose statistical balance.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

You're not even close to getting it, the fact that you can't come up with anything else than your strawman arguments and passive-aggressive attitude is proof of that.

But to spell it out once again for you. I do not care about people's skin color or race, not in my profession or any other profession period. Why?

Because I do not see the need for balance or representation as I do not put a value on skin color or race. Period. Unless you put a value on race/skin color representation is irrelevant.

That does not mean I wish it to go away, I could not care less as it's not a problem in my eyes, to begin with. What I do wish is that people who claim race/skin color should not matter would stop bringing it up all the time and demand balance and representation based on the very thing they say they are against. Judging people by their race/skin color.

So no you still haven't got it.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Paul, I note your complaints that I haven't responded to everything you've said. You've not yet responded to this first post of mine.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

You mean the one where you use semantics and try to pass the ball to me yet again? Since you "never said it needed to be balanced".. right..

So let me answer this then and you can answer my questions, fair enough right?

No, you did not say it needs to be balanced, but you literally brought it up and unless you feel it needs to change why even bring it up?

Regardless if you said it or not, are you incapable of sharing your opinion on it?

So now I expect you to answer my questions, thank you.

David Apeji's picture

If you think it is the models that choose photographers for their magazine assignments, you obviously have no clue how the industry works.

heikoknoll's picture

"... and black people historically aren't aquatics...". Arguments like this belong to the dumbest of their kind.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Is anybody here proposing shutting down photography due to profiling and racism?
The question of why representation in the profession is so unbalanced is a complex one, and I don't see that reducing it to a simplistic dichotomy between "Nothing to see here" and "Cut off the racists heads" is either useful or interesting.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Living in one of the most diverse places on earth is conducive to looking beyond simplistic "us vs. them" explanations for differences. Living in a tiny little bubble in a frothing sea of variety just isn't a comfortable way to live.

Jacques Cornell's picture

"Different people want to do different things."
And, sometimes people don't want to do things where opportunities are not made equally available to them. Not saying that's the case here, but the possibility is at least worth consideration.

Mike Ditz's picture

Edited to keep the conversation on track

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Well, I prefer white men who do not care about race or skin color, maybe you prefer white men who judge your person and performance based on your race/skin color ?

Mike Ditz's picture

Please don't assume what I "prefer". I think some white men (like me) are not affected/concerned by the lack of diversity because we are the majority in the photo business, clients, agency folks, photographers, directors, crew, etc. so maybe we don't see it as a issue, it is just how it is... I noticed that the LA market is more of a diverse reflection of the community than the Detroit market was.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

So who is the white guy you are referring to in your first post? Dennis Williams ? Regardless of who you are referring to aren't you making assumptions as well?

Mike Ditz's picture

Not to anyone specifically but I guess I did assume, and I will edit previous my comment now.

Ben Bezuidenhout's picture

So what? Who cares?

g coll's picture

If you're a part of the minority group then you do care. If you're not, you should also care but ignorance is bliss right?

Paul Lindqvist's picture

I'm part of a minority group in my country, I couldn't care less what the color of your skin are. I do not treat people differently based on their skin color, nor do I expect people to treat me based on it either.

g coll's picture

Good for you but it is about representation.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Good for me... yeah, I guess it's good not play the victim and use the color of my skin as an excuse for everything.

As for representation, representation of what? Color/race?

g coll's picture

Either. Each. Both. We are talking about under representation of those in minority groups. I get what you're saying, Paul and that is fine but it is beside the point of the article.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

So if you do not judge people by color/race why do you need colored people to be represented to the same extent as white people?

Should white people be represented equally in other professions that are mainly inhabited by people of color?

Unless you attach a value on the color/race it really doesn't matter.

What matters is the person and their work nothing else. If you can't live by that standard you can't expect anyone else to live by it.

The point of the article? The article ended with a question so not sure what the point was rather than to put the article out there for people to discuss and reflect on.

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

Spot on, Paul.
Not enough white people in basketball and football. No Muslims in the White House, no gays in carpenting, no women in crab fishing, no transgenders in schools. I can go on and on. Why people still bring up the differences is beyond my understanding but yeah let’s keep it up.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I think in her industry, she had the power of helping promote who ever she wants to for a loooong time.

Just me's picture

The fact that is something to talk about is scary.

Jacques Cornell's picture

I've long wondered why the vast majority of professional photographers in the U.S. are white males. I mean, I know it appeals to certain personality types, and, like certain sports, it requires access to resources that aren't publicly available. Still, it strikes me as odd. That said, many of the high school students in my "pre-college" photography classes have been girls and non-whites. So, maybe things are changing. I wonder if those kids will go on to become pros in numbers that will help balance the profession.

Mark Wyatt's picture

Why are most engineers male? People are constantly promoting engineering to women, and yes, it is having some effect (one of my daughters is studying engineering for instance), but still engineering is male dominated. In terms of ethnicity, a lot of engineering is probably over represented by those of Indian and Asian descent (many not yet or becoming US citizens).

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