Representative Black Stock Images for the Win

Web designer and front-end developer Kenneth Wiggins brainstormed a new stock photo service. With the help of photographers, he created a site that provides nuanced, non-stereotyped, high-quality images of black people. BlackStockImages (still in beta at this writing) already has over 400 photos in several categories, including food, objects, people, scenery, travel and youth, for example.

Wiggins writes:

“By focusing on respect, authenticity and culture; I’ve built a platform that presents Black culture in a genuine light, leaving the generic visuals and offensive propaganda to the other sites. I believe images used to represent content is as important as what’s written. BlackStock is here to help connect the messaging by providing quality assets for better branding and communication with your audience.”

BlackStockImages, via New Republic.

BlackStockImages, via New Republic.

Found via New Republic.

Because representation in media matters. Because black lives matter.

Autism and Photography

To document the often bizarre and incomprehensible world of his son, photographer Timothy Archibald has been photographing his autistic son Elijah from age 5. It started with taking photos of the repetitive behaviors or rituals that Elijah exhibited. Then it turned into something more:

“When Archibald showed him a photo of one of his behaviors, Elijah suggested doing it in another way or another place. Both father and son were very interested in the process through which they could get a good photo. ‘We had this mutual sense of discovery,’ Archibald says.”

Elijah has in time become a more active participant, helping to brainstorm and set up the photoshoots. Mr. Archibald named the project Echolilia. These photograph sessions sound transformative for them, because through them

“…father and son create their own visual language, thanks to which they can communicate with each other even when there are no words they both can understand. In fact, Elijah receives positive attention for his rituals, can share something with his dad, and has even started to take his own photos.”

Autism Photos Timothy Archibald

Timothy Archibald.

Autism Photo2 Timothy Archibald

Timothy Archibald.

More Echolilia photos on Mr. Archibald’s website. Reporting via SNAP and Lomography.

Because communication matters. Because making a connection with other people matters.

What You See Is What You Expect

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org, has launched a campaign to change images of girls and women used in advertising. LeanIn.org teamed up with Getty Images to create a photo library called the Lean In Collection. According to Ms. Sandberg, the collection portrays working moms, military women and bosses, with

“real bodies, real families, raising real children … and also includes men in the home who have chosen to be primary caregivers.”

Pamela Grossman, director of Visual Trends at Getty, says: “Imagery is so powerful. It’s what changes your expectation of yourself and the world around us.” But that’s not all. According to ABC News,

“[h]aving more equal and more progressive images of females is […] also about economics,” says Grossman. “Women hold so much buying power – certainly in the US and growing worldwide – so it’s foolish not to figure out how to speak to women in a relevant and respectful way.”

Kudos, Getty Images and LeanIn.org. Women are not just someone’s daughters, sisters or wives. Women are someone, too.

 

Restaurant Owner Adds More Skin, Donates Proceeds to Rape Info Services

After a customer review requested that servers at Atomic Grill in Morgantown, West Virginia, show more skin, owner Daniel McCawley decided to add more skin to the menu. His restaurant is now offering a potato skin special (through Memorial Day), and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information Services.

Atomic Grill Potato Skin Special

More skin! Potato skin special at Atomic Grill. Daniel McCawley, via ABC News.

According to Mr. McCawley,

“[i]t was brutish. I was upset. I’m a father of a 12-year-old girl and I’ve got five sisters,” […] “The way that women are treated is pretty personal as far as I’m concerned.”

(Quote from an ABC News article by Stefanie Tuder.)

Kudos!

Because speaking out matters, and speaking out with humor is even better.