One of the best ways to move the needle towards equality is by amplifying the voices of the Black community and artists like Black fashion photographers. They’re not a trend, nor a new-ish phenomenon. Each BIPOC photographer on this list is already quite prolific, shooting magazine covers, releasing coffee table books, and lensing major ad campaigns. And the world is only starting to take notice.
With a passion for fashion photography myself, I wanted to highlight a few BIPOC fashion photographers’ work I find distinct and iconic. Here are 3 photographers you need to follow.
Brandon Rashad is a North Carolina raised, Atlanta-based photographer specializing in branding portraits as well as fashion photography. His journey with photography began very organically; through capturing his circle of friends. After leaving his corporate career, Rashad decided to pursue photography full time. From there his work developed rapidly, motivated by his desire to capture and create moments that are personal and meaningful—as evidenced by the intimacy of his work.
His recent work includes big-name stars like Travis Malloy, Jonathan Nelson, and Rich Tolbert. He told Upscale, “I feel like my work is more on a personal vibe to entertainers, which is cool, and it keeps me on my toes because each artist is so different. So it challenges me to tap in and really create with them. It’s interesting and I learn a lot.”
Past Work: iTunes and other notable tastemakers in fashion and the music sector. View his portfolio here http://www.brandonrashad.com/
What power does photography have not only within the fashion industry but beyond? Why is photography important?
Brandon: A lot of people underestimate the power and impact of still and moving images. They shape so much of how we see ourselves and the world at large. Photography informs our ideas about who is deemed important, beautiful, worthy of space. The impact can be seen very clearly within the fashion industry, but it has implications beyond that.
Darius Voncel is a visual storyteller that captures the beauty of Blackness and a life well lived through his lens. Think: fashion, culture all things Colorful.
In a guest post for Upscale Magazine, Voncel gives credit to platforms like Instagram for making photography more accessible and inclusive for young, BIPOC photographers. You can view his portfolio here. http://www.dariusvoncel.com/
What advice would you give an aspiring BIPOC creative looking to break into the fashion industry?
Darius: Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your dreams are far-fetched or impossible. You have all the power to do what you want.
Finally, where would this list be without Kevin Goolsby? Goolsby is a creative director and photographer, who is undoubtedly one of the most influential creatives today. Goolsby regularly posts stunning imagery on Instagram, from celebrity portraits to powerful explorations of the human form. However, it’s his raw, inspiring captions that make Goolsby a photographer worth following.
Past Work: Goolsby’s work has been featured in editorials such as Coca-Cola, Changan, Adidas, and Woodford Reserve and notable celebrities such as Angie Stone, B Angie B, Chris Tucker, T.I., Future to list a few.
You can view his portfolio here. https://kevingoolsby.com/
Besides being a photographer, you are also a visual designer. How do you balance between all the photography work and this?
Kevin: Being a visual designer helps me a lot with my job as a photographer because it takes away my thoughts from the photography for a certain time and forces me to refresh. With this way of working, I’m not getting bored with what I’m doing, and I think this is what drives my passion. There is also a lot of intersecting parts in those fields of work where the knowledge of one field comes in handy. For example, when you’re doing the creative direction for a new fashion brand it is constructive to have the knowledge of imagery and contemporary photography as well as to define the direction for the branding and visuality.
There is so much more a could say about all these amazing BIPOC fashion photographers, and there are many others I could talk about, but this post would unfortunately turn into an essay. It is difficult to put into words on how creative and inspirational all of these photographers are, and I hope this article has been able to spotlight some of the amazing work we see in our favorite fashion content.
Stay tuned for part 3!
If you can see it, you can shoot it.
Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds