Educating the Wedding Industry on Diversity & Inclusion
Wedding Blogs & Wedding Photography Conferences on Represenation of Black People //
In order to bring about real, lasting change in the wedding industry in regards to pushing for more diversity and inclusivity, fully acknowledging the issue is the first step in solving it. Not everybody truly understands what all the uproar is about. They may realise that there is a problem on the surface level, but not truly grasp the extent of it and what it means on a deeper level.
From what I see online, more and more photographers are starting to call-out mainstream wedding blogs, publications and feature accounts for disporpotionately featuring caucasian couples. This has happened in the past and unfortunately not much has changed in the industry.
Let us take it a step further and talk about photography conferences and workshops. How diverse are the photographers being invited to speak and teach? Are they being afforded the same opportunites to take the stage and share their expertise? If a styled shoot is a part of the portfolio-building and learning experience, how diverse are the models?
Disclaimer: In this post, I am addressing the wedding photography industry in Europe and America. Moreover, I am sharing my point-of-view and do NOT speak for all Black people. In addition, I recognise that there are different types of people affected by the lack of representation in the wedding industry – at this moment, I am focusing on the underrepresentation of Black people (which can be further applied to other maraginalised groups).
Nevertheless, I believe that simply shaming the people who run these businesses is not the answer. It is not productive and does not bring about lasting change. We need to actually start educating our industry about WHY it is so important to have diversity, not only in the people that we portray in our portfolios, but also in the photographers that we learn from.
TIME TO STOP SHAMING, TIME TO START EDUCATING THE WEDDING INDUSTRY
Shaming leads people to get defensive. What we need is people to become responsive. I agree with what Brené Brown said in an interview “Shame never drives positive behaviour. What shame drives is rage, anger, rationalization and blame.” Therefore, let us move away from critcising towards educating and collectively contributing to creating a better tomorrow.
One way of gaining a clearer understanding of the issues at hand is by changing our vantage points and taking on different perspecitves.
Why is it important to have Black couples represented in wedding blogs & wedding photographer portfolios?
Allow me to paint you a couple of realistic scenarios:
Scenario 1: A Black couple scours through Instagram and Pinterest to find inspiration for their wedding and are mainly confronted with images mainly catering to white couples.
This signals to the Black couple that they are not the intended clientele being sought out to be served. It creates frustration and prepetuates exclusion in a culture that is already Eurocentric.
Scenario 2: A Black couple is hesitant to reach out to a wedding photographer because they only showcase white couples in their portfolio.
I have heard of cases where Black couples are rejected purely on race and/or appearance. This is discrimination. No more needs to be said!
Why is it important to have Black speakers and teachers at photography conferences and workshops?
To begin with, it is a moral imperative to be inclusive.
- Who we learn from shapes what we learn. When we continuously hear from a similar group of people, the sharing of new ideas and perspectives is limited. Diversity allows us to broaden our horizons.
- It makes Black photographers feel more welcome to attend a conference/workshop, which in turn enriches the interaction between participants and expands networking opportunities.
- It communicates to the participants that Black people have expertise worth sharing. This helps chip away at the implicit bias that exists in some people’s minds about the level of value that Black people have to offer.
- Moreover, it provides Black speakers/teachers with the opportunity to increase their credibility in the industry and increase their exposure.
(And I want to reiterate my point from my previous post that Black people should be given the stage to speak and teach based on their qualifications and not as a token or to solely address issues of race and identity.)
Now, let all these points sink in.
From true understanding stems the need to take action. That is the next step.
Cheering you on,
MY WEDDING SEASON – THE PODCAST
BUILD A THRIVING BRAND & BUSINESS
Welcome to “My Wedding Season – The Podcast” where I provide overwhelmed wedding photographers with the inspiration, tools and resources needed to build a thriving brand and business. I am your host, Aida Glowik, a European intimate wedding and elopement photographer based in Germany.
This podcast is for wedding photographers who are feeling overwhelmed by the challenges that come along with doing life, building a brand and running a business. On solo shows, I address various topics including, but not limited to: branding & marketing, organisation & productivity systems as well as income generating business strategies.
Guest interviews are centered around exploring their creative processes and insights regarding photography and/or business! Can’t wait for you to hear from so many talented and inspirational people from around the world!
A new episode drops every two weeks on Wednesdays!
Are you in? Get ready to take some notes…
Cat Ekkelboom-White is a British photographer, ski instructor, hiking guide and certified coach, living in the Austrian Alps. After starting her photography business Wild Connections Photography in 2015, she quickly realised that traditional weddings weren’t her thing. She created a super niche elopement photography brand that specialises in creating, guiding and capturing multi-day elopement experiences for her clients around her favourite corner of the Alps.
In this episode, Cat talks to us about how she was able to continuously niche down in her business and how other photographers can do the same. We talk about the benefits of niching, including the beauty of working with clients that align closely with your values and being about to charge premium prices.
Show notes: Episode 47
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Adventure Wedding Academy:Website: Adventure Wedding Academy Instagram: @adventureweddingacademy
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