Sharing Black Stories
Stories, Experiences and Portraits of Black People
I was inspired to feature Black clients, their stories, their experiences and their portraits after protests in Portland, OR broke out in late May 2020. After reaching out to clients, one replied asking what my intent with the project was.
I thought, what a great question. So let me start there, by sharing my intent.
When the COVID-19 shut down first started in March 2020, I wanted to use the time to start blogging my past photography portrait sessions and weddings. As part of that, I began highlighting work featuring clients who were also essential workers. I emailed them questionnaires to see if they would be interested in sharing and to learn more about their experiences. Their words were then posted and blogged along with their portrait for their headshot session, wedding, family photography session and more.
When the protests started after the death of George Floyd I began to reflect on myself. I realized how vocal I have been about my support for the LGBTQ+ community and what they fight against, but I have not done that in the same way for the Black community. While I like to think I have always been an ally my eyes are greatly opened to how I can do better. And I want to.
If you are a Black client of mine that would like to use my platform to share your thoughts on the movement, your experiences, or anything else you want to say, just contact me. You are welcome to use your own words or I can send along some questions to prompt your thoughts.
Thank You for Sharing Your Experience.
I first met Chris, and his wife Maria, when they were searching for a wedding photographer. I could tell right away Maria is a strong woman but I knew she had a soft side too when I saw who she chose for her husband. Chris has big personality and he just makes people smile. Plus he gets my jokes and I've always enjoyed laughing with him. I was excited when he was the first one to respond about my idea.
What do you think about the protests that are happening around the US?
I’m down for the protests. I don’t like the rioting & looting. I think it’s time, time to do something, it’s time for a change.
Is there anything about your personal experience with being Black in America or Portland you would like to share?
I’ve been blessed, I have not had any run-ins with the law personally, however, my cousin was shot by the police 22 times. I’m scared every time I leave the house, I make sure that I have all my paperwork so I don’t have issues if I get pulled over. I am always vigilant about my surroundings. I notice the stares from people ( white & black) when I’m out & about with my wife who disagree that I am married to a white woman. It’s very frustrating in 2020 that this is still an issue.
What can non-black people do to support the Black community?
Anything else you'd like to share?
It’s something we all have to fight for & I’ve been seeing more people feeling “free” to let their racist attitudes show.