I am going to address something I have never talked about on the blog before. Diversity. I once had a comment on my Instagram account that said something like “Why don’t you have any diversity in your photos? They are all skinny white girls.” Ouch. That stung a little. It didn’t sting because it was true – it was not. It stung because it was that persons perception. And while I can show examples of different body types, I did not have a lot of different skin types on my social media posts.
Even though that comment was hard to swallow, it did give me pause and made me think. Was I attracting only one skin type because that’s what I was showing? Was there a way I could be attractive to a more diverse population? I don’t know the answers to these questions. But I am thankful that I am not ignoring them. I truly wish I could represent EVERY woman.
I started to hope and pray for wider clientele. So, even though that comment seemed mean-spirited, it opened my eyes a little. I do need more diversity in my images. I do need to attract a more diverse population. I can not control who hires me for photoshoots and it is important that you know that every person you see on my social media has HIRED me. I do not give away free sessions. I do not do model calls. I can not control who my client is. She hires me because she wants to. So I guess that is the base of the philosophical question. How can I create more of a need/want for diversity in my work, but still keep my own style, knowing that style may not attract different diverse populations? I need to express my own brand and character through my photos and I understand that not every person will like my style.
With that being said, I was thrilled when a couple of women of color came into my life. I wanted to show their own beautiful style mixed with mine. It is a small step in making me feel more inclusive and representative, but I know it is the right step.
If you are a woman of color and want senior photos, I would love to welcome you into my studio. The universal need to FEEL beautiful is not about skin color, it is about this thing called humanity and how we treat one another. In my attempt to spread beauty, through images, I want all women to feel the same way when they leave my studio: beautiful.
What is beauty to Yamiah?
Beauty is absolutely not about what’s on the outside. It’s about the good things you do and how you treat other people. Beauty is handling situations with grace and kindness.
Yamiah, I saw nothing but grace and kindness during our session, so I am very thrilled that you shared your beauty with me!