5 Offset Photographers on the Importance of Diversity in Photography

Companies around the world are seeking to include images of diverse communities in their marketing materials. Explore the growing significance of diversity in photography with these Offset contributors.

Providing diversity in photography has been a hot topic in the advertising and marketing industry over the past few years, and is a very important topic to address.
Diversity can mean different things to different people. Before we continue, here’s a quick review on what diversity may include. Consider these elements the next time you’re selecting a person, place, or scenario to photograph.
Harvard Business Review outlines three types of diversity that shape our identities. These include demographic, experiential, and cognitive diversity.
  • Demographic Diversity: Examples include gender, race, or sexual orientation.
  • Experiential Diversity: Examples include affinities, hobbies, and abilities.
  • Cognitive Diversity: Examples include how we approach problems and think about things.
Image by Rawpixel.com
All three of these elements work together to shape our identities. Diversity in photography means providing imagery that reflects the variety of characteristics that shape an individual person. Photographers should focus on diversity in photography in order to show a global perspective of real-world, authentic content. Photography is a tool that creators around the world can use to eradicate stereotypes. Photography can also explore social issues that demand attention. Used correctly, photography allows communities to break barriers and provide perspective into regional issues and cultures.
Here at Shutterstock, we are committed to providing a diverse collection of images and video content on our platform, and to providing our community of 550,000 creatives in 100+ countries with tools they need to showcase their diverse work.
Image by Rawpixel.com

Photographers on Diversity in Photography

We spoke with 5 photographers who contribute to the Offset collection on Shutterstock. These artists excel at capturing diversity in the imagery they showcase on the platform. Diversity has a wide breadth of meaning, and we wanted to find out exactly how these photographers and artists ensure they portray diversity in an authentic way. We asked each photographer why they think it’s important to portray diverse models in photography.
Kyle LaMere, Offset Portfolio - United States
“I don’t specifically shoot culture so I can claim I’m diverse. It simply is who I am."

About the photographer:
A world traveler, Chicago native Kyle LaMere carries his camera to every corner of the globe. His photography is a pursuit of beauty with a culturally conscious eye. This talented photographer has over 10 years of experience shooting a wide variety of genres and diverse publications around the world.
Current Project:
Kyle is currently working with the Harris sisters, who are Native Americans of the Umatilla Reservation in Pendleton, Oregon. He’s been working alongside them to document not only their everyday life, but also the regalia they create in hopes of preserving their culture via images for years to come.
Kyle on diversity in photography:
“I’ve always been interested in culture. Different cultures and ethnicities were celebrated in my household. I give credit to my parents for teaching me to never judge another person based on their race or class structure.
“One of the many scenarios that shaped me early in life was in 1996 when my sister married interracially. Which, at the time, was very controversial. I was unaware of that controversy until I started to see people outside my immediate families react. It was a pivotal moment early in my teenage years that made me think: why do people care so much? That situation was one small example that shaped my life and instilled in me that people need to see culture and diversity as a normal, everyday thing. Because it is just that. It’s a normal thing.“I don’t specifically shoot culture so I can claim I’m diverse. It simply is who I am, and I can try only to normalize it in the one way I know how, through portraiture.”
Images by Kyle LaMere
Aaron Joel Santos, Offset Portfolio - Thailand
“We live in a world that is a wonderfully, chaotic clash of cultures, ethnicities, customs, and traditions.”


Current Project:
Aaron is currently working on a family-related project, tracing down his southern roots and family history across the swamps, rivers, and cotton fields of Louisiana.
About the photographer:
Thailand-based photographer Aaron Santos is an editorial and travel photographer who seeks to be inspired by the unknown. This accomplished photographer has worked with reputable publications globally. His portraiture is powerful and will transport you into the eyes of people around the world, and the diverse cultures that encompass their lives.

Aaron on diversity in photography:

“It’s absolutely important to portray diverse models in photography. I’d be worried if anyone thought otherwise. We do not live in a singular, homogenous world. We live in a world that is a wonderfully, chaotic clash of cultures, ethnicities, customs, and traditions. Why would you want to portray that any differently? When has any kind of art ever benefited from a narrow perspective?”
Visnja Millic, Offset Portfolio - Serbia
“The world is made of diverse people. That’s what makes the world so beautiful and interesting.”


Current Project:
Visnja is currently working on a storytelling project documenting a young person with a unique job. This job is traditional and forgotten in the modern world.
About the photographer:
Visnja Millic is a food, portrait, and lifestyle photographer located in Serbia. This accomplished academic has an educational background in Environmental Protection Engineering, but followed her passion to pursue her career as a professional photographer. She uses photography to show a worldly perspective of the people, places, and cultures surrounding her.
Images by Visnja Millic

Visnja on diversity in photography:
“Portraying diversity in photography is extremely important. The world is made of diverse people. That’s what makes the world so beautiful and interesting. I enjoy working with different people, connecting with them, and often they don’t have model experience. That makes it more interesting and challenging for me to capture their true self, which can be hard at times.

“It’s important that we support each other, respect each other, and stay connected, always. No matter how ‘different’ we are.”
Offset Images by Visnja Millic
Manuel Ruiz Alba, Offset Portfolio - Spain
“I like people. No matter the color of their skin, gender, age, or social position.” 

About the photographer:
Manuel specializes in social, portrait, and lifestyle photography. His eye is constantly seeking to be inspired by the beautiful side of life, and people around the world. Through his photography, expect to be inspired by stunning simplicity and naturalness.
Manuel on diversity in photography:
“It’s important to show the diversity that exists in our environment, and the changes that have happened in the most archetypal social roles. Even in small cities, you can find cultural, racial, and social diversity that previously was exclusive to big cities just a few decades ago.
“I like people. No matter the color of their skin, gender, age, or social position. Simply look for the beauty of each person you capture, in the most natural way possible. The daily, simple moments.
“I have been working in stock photography for just over a year, and what I like the most is that any subject has a place here.”
Megan Rogers, Offset Portfolio - Thailand
“Photographing a wide range of cultures and ethnicities, ages and genders, can help remind us that the world is full of beautiful humans.”

Current Project:
Megan is working on a visual project that focuses on our impact and relationship with the natural world. A big aspect of it involves our plastic use and our nonchalance around our consumption.
About the photographer:
Megan Rogers is a lifestyle, editorial, and travel photographer based in Thailand. Through her images, viewers are transported to the destinations she photographs around the world. We love Megan’s simplicity in capturing the people, places, and environments that she shoots in.
Image by Megan Rogers
Megan on diversity in photography:
“It’s always been important to show diversity in art, however with the world and political climate the way they are currently, it’s even more vital than ever. I think people stay in their own bubble too often, surrounded by what is comfortable and familiar to them. Photographing a wide range of cultures and ethnicities, ages and genders can help remind us that the world is full of beautiful humans, different than us, but human all the same.
“We all feel love, happiness, sadness, curiosity, anger. By showing diversity in stock photos that are used around the world, they can help remind people that our gender or skin tone doesn’t change those feelings.”
Images by Megan Rogers
Thank you to the photographers in our contributor community who have committed to providing diversity in photography through their collections on Offset and Shutterstock. We live in a diverse, multicultural, multilingual world that can be celebrated globally. Images purchased on Offset and Shutterstock may be purchased by customers for advertisements, marketing, or other business purposes. And, businesses are increasingly striving to include diversity in the imagery they use in their campaigns.
We encourage our photographers to capture their local social environments, continue to educate themselves on diversity, keep inspiring the world through their imagery, and grow a collection of work that features diverse people, experiences, and environments.
Image via GoodStudio
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