Black photographers are taking to social media to protest their exclusion from mainstream photo shoots, claiming that the profession is still not being given the attention it deserves.
Black photographers are not getting their due in the world of photo shoots and the world as a whole is being left out of the conversation, says a black photographer who goes by the handle of BlackGirlLover.
She explains: “I think there’s a lot of people who have forgotten about Black photographers and what we’ve done.”
We’ve taken to the streets for the past few months to show people that we’re not afraid of death, that we can’t be killed.
“And we’re still being shot.”
“When we do take to the street we show that there are more than two million Black women alive today, and that’s because Black women make up 40 per cent of the population of this country,” she continues.
“Black girls and Black men are getting murdered in the streets.”
I feel like Black people are not seen as a viable option for a photo shoot.
“So why is the world ignoring us?”
The BlackGirllover, who is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, UK, is one of the most well-known Black photographers in the UK, with a following of tens of thousands.
She has made it her mission to raise awareness of the issue and to highlight the plight of Black women in the photographic profession.
She told News24: “My career is all about showing people what Black women can do.”
For me to have a photo I would be a celebrity.
“But because of the media and the media outlets, we’re never seen as the people that I am.”
“So if you want to see Black people, Black women, you’ve got to see them as real people.”
She added: “Black people are dying because the media doesn’t portray them as people that they are.”
She is currently shooting for British magazine Vanity Fair and she has even set up a Facebook page for the project called Black GirlLover’s Photo Shoot.
She said: “The reason why I decided to start this campaign is because there’s not a lot out there for Black girls that are willing to take the time to take a photo and share it with the world.”
“I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be in the industry, but if you are going to work with us and have us do a photo, it should be for the world to see.”
You can do it for your family, your community, for your community as a way to show that we matter.
“The campaign is raising funds to pay for her travel, accommodation and equipment.
She added that she has already made more than £10,000 for her work.”
If I can get to London and take a trip to Paris, that will go a long way for me.
“Because the world has not been seen and I want people to see us.”
The world needs us, and the way we show it is by being real.
“BlackGirlLove is now raising funds on her Facebook page to make her travel and accommodation more accessible.”
It’s not just me, it’s all of us that need to be heard,” she said.”
When people ask me why I’m going to the UK or Paris, I tell them, ‘Because I need the world.’
“She also wants to inspire other Black women to take up photography.”
A lot of Black girls don’t have the opportunity to do that because it’s not as safe and as accessible as the world that we live in.
“There are so many Black girls out there that are going through the same thing, so if we’re going to show them that we care, we need to show it.”
“We need to make a difference.”