As photographers, do we have the responsibility to represent all types of people?
I'm not here to tell other photographers what they should and shouldn't be doing with their cameras. However, for me personally, I will always feel a deep responsibility and passion for capturing the beauty within all people. When Instagram is filled with feeds and feeds of thin, white women, we should want more for our work than to just stay within this narrow view of beauty. When someone confronts a photographer about their lack of diversity, they should have more to show than the one black woman they shot a few months back. I want my portfolio to be so diverse and full of all kinds of beauty, not just one traditional standard of beauty. Who you choose to showcase in your portfolio is a reflection of who you find beauty in. Photographers are always looking for ways to make their art truly be unique and step out of the box but how can you achieve that by shooting the same type of models day in and day out? Make a conscious effort to do more and reach out to models who don't fit conventional beauty standards. As a photographer, if you truly believe you're showing off and appreciating the female body and its beauty, you shouldn't feel obligated to represent all people, you should feel honored that you get the opportunity and outlet to do so.
When POC have lacked representation for so long, as a photographer, why would you want to continue to contribute to that? By only shooting models who are thin and white, it enforces society's ideal beauty standards. Someone with a platform should want to use that to influence beauty standards and allow those previously misrepresented or not represented at all to finally be accurately represented. Give them their spotlight. Use your art to amplify theirs. Representation has a huge impact on self worth and how we view ourselves so why would you not want your art to aide in boosting the confidence of others? By no means is any artist required to do anything with their art but at the end of the day, your art should be a reflection of what you believe in, and I believe there's beauty in all people so my work will continue to portray that.