In today’s world — with a global pandemic as well as race and diversity issues coming to the forefront — I find it necessary to share the following article, written by my friend Chris Gampat, of The Phoblographer.
Chris and I first met on an Olympus press experiential trip in 2018. We talk regularly about not only the industry, but also about things we’re working on personally. His article talks about the problems of racism in the photo industry head-on. I personally couldn’t be more proud of the work he’s done on the forefront of this. He writes:
“The problems of racism have been ingrained in the photo industry for years. It’s holistic. Go to many functions, events, trade shows, etc. and you’ll find lots of particular shade to be prevalent. The experience isn’t inviting to the rest of us.”
He goes on to address racism in photo manufacturing specifically:
“Why haven’t companies in the photo world come out to speak up against racism officially? Especially because there is a lack of trust in many ways from previous awards? Let alone the fact that if you look at the brand ambassadors of many companies, there isn’t a whole lot of inclusiveness or diversity. Why? At a time when the photo industry is looking so desperately to adapt and to make sales pick up, why are we not shedding our previous racial ideals? And more importantly, why are we supporting companies that continue to have racial issues?”
At Photofocus, we are already in the process of exploring what we can do to be supportive in these times.
I encourage you to read Chris’ words in full. His statement is powerful, and serves as a guide to how the photography industry as a whole should operate.