The fashion industry is home to some of the most dynamic and fluid trends that the world has ever seen. No doubt, the existence of this ever-changing and highly creative environment is mainly as a result of the diversity and creative uniqueness of the individuals that constitute it. However, even with this seemingly all-inclusive and globally encompassing genre, there is a prominent neglect that seems to be growing even further: the underrepresentation of black female photographers.
Racial divide and marginalization has been a big problem in most fields and even more so in fashion photography. One may argue that this issue spans across all other aspects of black women participation in the fashion industry and there definitely would be a point there. However, the contribution of black women to fashion and beauty photography has brought about great innovation at both ends of the camera and it is a wonder that there are so many of these talented individuals flying under the radar with very little representation.
A vital point that must be noted is a severe lack of appreciable participation in the industry as a whole as a direct result of the marginalization that these woman face. Not only do they lack a strong platform that provides more opportunities for them in all areas of the industry, black female photographers seem to lack the proper exposure necessary for them to get their work noticed by the larger audiences. Even more interesting to note is the remarkable talent of the few black photographers in the industry. Any in-depth research will reveal a good number of black women who are doing groundbreaking work in their functional spaces and possess a strong portfolio of projects under their sleeves.
Why then do the big photography companies and other major players in the industry not shine enough light on this demographic? And why does their work seem to be hidden among their fashion photographer counterparts? Why aren't they standing on the forefront as ambassadors or speakers for any of the photographic companies or community in general? Whatever the case may be, the amazing talent that black women have to offer has proven to be a tasteful and revolutionary touch that cannot be ignored. Bringing more notice to this faction would require the creation of strong platforms for these voices to be heard and for their works to be showcased. This helps to provide an avenue for proper recognition while creating prospects for opportunity and progress. By doing this, these women not only get to learn more about themselves but also find support and motivation in one another by fostering a professional community of like minds.
I did months of researching to compile a list of black female fashion photographers. These ladies are talented and deserve a bit of recognition. I am happy I am able to give them a platform to showcase their talents and work.
All images used with permission.