It is no secret that the workforce is male dominated and the photography industry is no different. As marginalized groups continue to enter and contribute to the photography industry proper representation is needed not only to keep these art forms alive they are needed to add diversity to the industry. Project 368’s studio manager Victoria Lewis aims to change how we perceive marginalized groups within the creative industries.
In a study conducted by World Press Photo, the University of Stirling and Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism it was concluded that women photographers were underrepresented within the photo journalism community. The study showed that a man was 22% more likely to get a job as a photojournalist within a large media organization than a woman. This gap in representation between the two groups helps perpetuate how our stories are captured and portrayed. The number of black women within the photo industry as a whole is even smaller than the number of women as well. This is why studio managers like Victoria Lewis are important as she curates black influencers within the photo industry to lead workshops in New York’s Project 368 studio.
“As a black photographer who manages a photography studio, it has increased my awareness of how important it is that we have black photographers. Black culture has risen to the forefront of media and art space, yet we are still copied and left out, underrepresented in terms of opportunity for payment, opportunity for experience, and not included in styling etc. when it comes to showcasing our culture.”
At Project 368’s photography workshop, Victoria Lewis selected esteemed photographer Aundre Larrow to lead the event. Aundre’s background as an Adobe endorsed photographer as well as his unique aesthetic made him the perfect candidate for the event and being a black male photographer he brings unique experiences to the industry which is perfect for Lewis’s goal. “I will be opening my own studio within the next two years catering to marginalized creators. I find it incredibly important for spaces by us and for us to exist.
My mission with photography is always to empower and uplift because that’s what it has done for me. It has changed the way that I see the world. I look at everything through the lens of art and that has made living much more enjoyable honestly. I would like to employ marginalized creators as well as grant people affordable ways to be able to be educated about visual arts as well as the equipment, facilities and a network of people to do so with.”