Faced With Underrepresentation, This Photographer Created A Stock Image Service For Black People



Sick of people of colour being underrepresented in stock photos, one woman took matters into her own hands. Realising that even the biggest image banks were predominately made up of pictures of white people – with very few photos of black families or couples available – photographer Porsha Antalan decided to come up with her own selection of snaps with BRWN Stock Imaging.

Woman laughing with popsicle. (Photo: Porsha Antalan)

The Atlanta-based photographer, who mainly specialised in fashion photography, turned her attention towards commercial and lifestyle images, in order to capture the everyday lives of black people on camera. 

"I figured we can’t keep waiting on these big stock websites", Porsha explained. "So why don’t I create a site where you are guaranteed to find people who look like you." Capturing couples, families, sportspeople and musicians, the photographer set out to shut down stereotypes and "normalise the black experience". 

One particular area of interest for her is photos of black people in relationships, after noticing the same romance photos being used again and again through lack of options. As she explains: 

"It was really hard to find any images of black couples or images that could convey that this is a love story and when I did find those images they were cheesy, outdated and you could tell that it was something that was just thrown together."

Shockingly enough, Porsha says that the selection was so limited, clients used to buy stock photos and photoshop them to look like black people. Aiming to capture diversity in all its forms, she also created a black LGBTQ+ section on the site. 

By creating a space filled with shots of black people engaging in normal activities, Porsha hopes to share the idea that images of white people are not universally representative. As she notes: "Things don’t become normal until you make it a norm."

Maternity. (Photo: Porsha Antalan)

Office Collection. (Photo: Porsha Antalan)

Culturophile pratiquante.


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About Article Author

Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design & development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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