Only Photographing White Women as a Photographer - The Problematic, Everlasting Industry Flaw that we Need to Work to Change

"But if I don't want to photograph people of color, why do I have to?"

This statement is ignorant. I've heard it time and time again from photographers who feel that I am attacking them for primarily photographing only white, blonde, skinny women. 

News Flash - I am attacking you. I'm attacking you because this statement is extremely ignorant.

Here's why:

You should not feel like you "have to" photograph and incorporate people of color through your work. If you feel like it is forced for you to photograph POC, you are, inherently, in some way racist about an entire demographic of models and creatives based on their skin color. You are missing out on an entire world of talent because you feel "forced" to incorporate something you should ALREADY BE INCORPORATING into your work.

The industry has enough white, privileged male photographers taking photos of "hot, white girls". Photographing primarily white women is only adding to this statistic that doesn't need to be added to. Do something different, be creative, push creative boundaries. The basis of photography is not objectifying hot white women. If you are striving to be a photographer to simply achieve this - please rethink your mission and goals in the industry. 

If a model of color goes to your profile and sees all caucasian models, how comfortable do you think they're going to feel reaching out to you to shoot? Based on your Instagram or website, POC won't see a wide range of diversity represented - so why should you have the opportunity to represent them? 

The industry is problematic regarding this subject already. Many photographers are working to change this demographic and are working to spotlight POC in their work. If you photograph all white women, you are going against efforts to change this. I'm not saying to never shoot white women. But if all of your work, publications, and content features white women, how are you helping the industry rather than hurting it?

If you are reading this post saying, "shit, my profile is all white women", then make a change rather than shying away from the subject because you feel "attacked". Feeling attacked often stems from ignorance, and usually signals that you need to change your way of thinking and become educated on a topic. 

If you are not meeting POC through connections in your creative endeavors, then you need to work on branching out within your artistic community. Some of the most amazing, inspiring, and unbelievably creative people I have met and worked with are people of color, and it infuriates me that many creatives miss out on this talent because they are too wrapped up in their white-girl-is-the-only-attractive-beauty-standard bubble to see it. 

If, after reading this post, you still want to only photograph primarily white women in your artistic practice, go for it. I simply ask that you own up to it and acknowledge that you are a socially and ethically problematic photographer in the industry. If you can't acknowledge this and don't want your work to be viewed as such, work on changing and educating yourself, and ideally, becoming an artist that helps the problem, not contributes to it.