After five months of planning, Diversify Photo today launched a database of 340 photographers of color from around the U.S. Brent Lewis, senior photo editor at ESPN’s The Undefeated, told PDN in May that he and independent photo editor Andrea Wise had begun compiling the database to show photo editors, art buyers and other creatives who hire photographers “that there are a lot of talented people out there that they may not see, have the time to go looking for, or just don’t know where to begin to find.”
The website, Diversify.Photo, features photographers working in every genre. It includes documentary photographers such as Ruddy Roye, Andre Wagner, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and Tasneem Alsultan; editorial photographers such as Jeffery Salter, Kwaku Alston, Ramona Rosales, Oriana Koren and Wayne Lawrence; fashion photographers such as Itaysha Jordan, Shaniqwa Jarvis and Natalie Gordon; and commercial photographers, including Kareem Black, Emiliano Granado and Marcus Smith; and such fine-art photographers as Juan Giraldo and Sheila Pree Bright.
Thumbnail photos link to each photographers’ website. Access to the full Diversify database, which includes photographers’ contact info, ethnicity, language fluency and areas of expertise, is available by emailing the organizers.
Lewis and Wise circulated calls for photographers who identify as people of color earlier this year, and sought assistance from several photo editors: Jehan Jillani, Jennifer Samuel and Elijah Walker of National Geographic; Dudley Brooks of The Washington Post; Michael Wichita of AARP; and former National Geographic photo editors Elizabeth Krist and Jessie Wender. They reviewed the photographers’ portfolios to select the 340 featured on the website, which was created with sponsorship from Visura.
In a post on The New York Times Lens blog today, Lewis says that the goal is “creating a place where people can come and see photographers of color, to know they are out there and they exist, and to provide editors with the ability to find people not in their circles.” Lewis says he plans to work with organizations such as Reclaim, a consortium of photo agencies working to make the media more inclusive and to diversify voices in the media.
Lewis will be speaking on the panel “Reclaiming Photography” at Photoville on September 16, along with others involved in Reclaim: Shahidul Alaim of Majority World, Daniella Zalcman of Women Photograph, Austen Merrell of the Everyday Projects, and photographer Tara Pixley. It’s free and open to the public.
Photographers and Photo Editors Strive to Foster Diversity in the Photo Industry (Interview with Brent Lewis) ; for PDN subscribers
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