Originally published September 2016. Updated March 2019.
As discussions around representation, diversity, and equality in media and journalism (have finally!) become more frequent, new resources are becoming available to help creatives find, hire and publish photography by women and people of color.
This list features organizations dedicated to increasing the presence of underrepresented groups in the media. Please contact me if you have corrections or suggestions for additional links.
Creative Directories & Agencies
Women Who Draw
Illustration is not my main area of focus, but as a photo editor, I am sometimes asked to make illustrator recommendations. I love this database for the filtering capabilities (location, race, illustration style, etc).
Excellent resource for finding female-identifying and non-binary photographers around the world. Founded by Daniella Zalcman.
”Girlgaze, initially created as an Instagram hashtag highlighting the female perspective, is an online jobs marketplace and creative agency that connects companies and brands with a global community of diverse and inclusive female-identifying creatives to generate award winning content.”
Women in Photography
Women in Photography is a platform for any female Photographer or photo interest. The aim is to give female artists a platform to show their work, inspire and encourage on their journey as a photographer.
A collective focusing on “themes with social context, referring to the territory, the gender issues and the current affairs that are specific to it”.
”An initiative that asks brands + their agencies to pledge to present a female photographer option on each job, with a goal of increasing gender diversity in advertising photography.”
Free the Bid
FREE THE BID is a 501c3 non-profit initiative advocating on behalf of women directors for equal opportunities to bid on commercial jobs in the global advertising industry.
”Through a radical transformation of image-making—with the goal of contributing to lasting change—We, Women believes we can revolutionize how we see our world and ultimately, ourselves.” Offers grants and other opportunities.
”The Authority Collective is a group of womxn, femmes, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people of color reclaiming their authority in the photography, film and VR/AR industries.”
Another fantastic database of artists around the world. “Diversify was born out of a recognition that calling for more diversity in the photo industry is not enough. To diversify photo, we need to equip Art Buyers, Creative Directors, and Photo Directors with resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments and commissions.”
”Natives Photograph is a space to elevate the work of Indigenous visual journalists and bring balance to the way we tell stories about Indigenous people and spaces. Our mission is to support the media industry in hiring more Indigenous photographers to tell the stories of their communities and to reflect on how we tell these stories. “
”We connect emerging journalists, documentary makers and visual storytellers from underrepresented regions and communities with major publications and introduce them to a global audience."
Massive list of photographers from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Hard to search by destination, suggest contacting with specific needs. “We specialise in sourcing high quality images from these diverse continents, which provide unique insights into local cultures, environments and development issues.”
African Photojournalism Database
African Photojournalism Database is a directory of emerging and professional African news photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers reporting on cultural, economic, environmental, political and social issues on the continent, as well as sports, nature, and stories of everyday life. There are over 400 photographers currently listed on the database, including over 180 professional photographers.
Stock photo archives
Getty’s Lean In collection
Jointly curated by Getty Images and LeanIn.Org – the women’s empowerment nonprofit founded by Sheryl Sandberg – the collection features over 6,000 images of female leadership and equal partnership in contemporary work and life.
”A grassroots resource and digital space for stock imagery that can be used for lifestyle, business, and everyday content creation for bloggers, creatives, and online influencers.”
”The Gender Spectrum Collection is a stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models that go beyond the clichés. This collection aims to help media better represent members of these communities as people not necessarily defined by their gender identities—people with careers, relationships, talents, passions, and home lives.”
“Culturally diverse stock photos that represent the true world we live in. Creating an inclusive culture takes both commitment and action. A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions for everyone.” Founded by Joshua Kissi.
Recently rebranded to Tetra Images. Blend used to be a decent source of more diverse stock photography options. I’ve not used Tetra and am not sure if they have maintained that area of focus.
Not specifically a stock archive showcasing the work of underrepresented communities, however, they do make an effort to feature more diverse and representational photography.