This year, two years after National Geographic famously acknowledged a history of racist coverage, the photo industry faced an unprecedented reckoning. The call for accountability, equality, and representation in the wake of the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd touched all corners of the community, from artists and editors to brands and publishers.
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism published a report on how photography can work for–and against–the Black Lives Matter movement, and leading voices in the industry put together anti-racism resources for their audiences. As Black photographers risked their lives to document the protests, camera companies faced pressure to support them in tangible ways, and leading magazines were called on to change their hiring practices–not just their Twitter feeds.
Since early this summer, Feature Shoot and 500px have been working on a new project: a guide for members of the photography community who want to help support the Black Lives Matter movement during this critical time in our nation’s–and our world’s–history. We interviewed more than two dozen photographers about the mistakes that have been made, and they also told us about the moments that have given them hope. They shared their experiences, insight, and wisdom, helping bring this initiative to life.
The guide, now available through Feature Shoot and 500px, is for everyone. We hope it helps to foster these overdue conversations about injustice and inequality in the photo community, and we hope to see these discussions continue to evolve well beyond this moment. As many of the featured photographers reminded us, this is a long-term problem that requires long-term solutions; it will continue to inform the community next year, the year after, and the year after that. It’s up to all of us take action and commit to doing better as individuals and as a collective.
As part of this guide, Feature Shoot has made a donation to the Black Lives Matter movement, and 500px has donated to Black Lives Matter Canada. We encourage readers to donate what they can to the movement as well. Get the guide here.