I strongly believe that artists- photographers, specifically- have a lot of control in terms of what sorts of people get admired or featured or held up as beautiful. If you’ve ever had to hire a photographer for anything, I’m sure you’ve noticed that a great majority of their portfolios prominently (and, in some cases, only) feature fair-skinned, fair-haired, thin, able-bodied folx.
All of that sounds like an exaggeration, I know, but it’s true.
This fact occurred to me a couple of years ago and since then I’ve made it my sort of mission to ask myself, “Who isn’t represented enough? Who isn’t represented at all? How do I hold myself accountable for that?”
As a photographer, I strive to give potential clients the opportunity to see other people with bodies or relationships or perceived imperfections like their own depicted in a photograph or series of photographs that are executed with the same care, technique, and quality as those photos of normatively “pretty” people.
I think that being intentional about curating a portfolio/social media presence that showcases bodies and relationships that aren’t necessarily mainstream (i.e. all bodies on a boudoir blog, queer couples of any combination, polyamorous relationships, queer/poly families) is a really revolutionary way to create a sense of inclusivity where there so typically isn’t.
I don’t want to be stuck with life the way society tells us it is— I want to make art that pushes back, art that acts as a megaphone— a visual voice— a tool to help empower people with confidence and worthiness and validation in the only way I know how: photography.
—adrienne maree brown