Diversity in photos - it's essential, but hard to find
When you go to a stock photo site, you will often see the same types of people every time. The thin honey blonde with her hands up to the sky. The beautiful Caucasian family with pearly white smiles. It’s what is available.
i believe there needs to be more
Today’s society makes people, particularly women, feel inadequate. We’re told we should look a certain way, even without words. The images that are everywhere are of the ‘perfect’ models.
The problem is that this won’t change until we start changing the images we use. Diversity needs to be normalized, so that it's familiar instead of uncomfortable. And so that it's fully appreciated for the gift that it is. Diversity enriches our world and makes it so much more interesting and beautiful.
Diverse images can also be a tool to encourage self-love in those who aren’t our society's standardized ‘perfect’ person. Just look at how having people like Beyonce in the spotlight has helped to grow the self-love among those who identify with her! When we see someone who ‘matches’ us, it helps us to realize that we’re not alone in the world. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with us, because there are others just like us.
At the end of the day: every person is different. And every person should be able to see images that suit their ethnicity, their body shape, their age, their abilities. These are all things that should be accepted, loved, and honored without judgment.
So what am I doing about it?
I believe that it’s essential to encourage diversity in all forms of media – and that includes stock photos. There are different body types, skin colors, ages and abilities within the health and wellness community, just like everywhere else. I want to represent that diversity.
This is why, when I create images for Wellness Stock Shop, I do not hire professional models, even though it would make my work easier. It's important to me to create imagery with accuracy and authenticity, and to support real practitioners whenever I can. So I seek out practitioners that are interested in an exchange – they model for my stock images, and they can then use those photos for free. This way, I can support small businesses while creating the images my community asks for.
The ladies in Wellness Stock Shop photos are real, every-day women in the health and wellness industry who have insecurities just like you and me. But they step up and in front of the camera in order to collaborate in bringing realness and authenticity to the world of wellness stock photography.
There are just a few problems. First, I live in one of the ‘whitest’ cities in America! So it can be hard for me to access the diversity I want. Second, it's not as easy as it seems to find women who are confident enough to jump in front of a camera - especially to have their photos be used as stock images.
Here’s where you come in
I will be traveling in the near future. And I want to find the beautiful, diverse health and wellness experts that are out there in the wide world!
So if you are:
- A health/wellness practitioner or expert in any modality
- Confident with stepping in front of a camera
- Willing to have your images used as stock imagery by Wellness Stock Shop in exchange for having your own beautiful images to use
- then I want to hear from you!
If you're interested in modeling for Wellness Stock Shop in the future, please comment below to let me know - and include where you're from!
Bonus hugs if you share this with any friends/groups who you think might be interested in collaborating as well.