At the conclusion of Pride Month 2022, we’re rounding up some of the best stories of LGBTQAI+ photographers we’ve done. This roundup includes lots of work put together by our staff over the years in conjunction with the many photographers we’ve helped champion. We think you’re bound to fall in love with their stories. Here are some LGBTQAI+ photographers worth a follow.
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Recognizing the Work The Phoblographer Has Done for Inclusivity and LGBTQAI+ Photographers
I’m the Editor in Chief and founder of The Phoblographer and I don’t do enough to acknowledge the work we’ve done. Because of this, people often don’t recognize it. But for over 13 years, The Phoblographer has interviewed tons of photographers. We’ve worked to get their permissions and blessings to publish their work and put them in the biggest spotlight possible.
With that said, other publications would simply just put a list together of photographer to watch. We go the extra step. This list includes only the photographers we’ve done full interviews with. To that end, these photographers have received at least one dedicated blog post to their work. And we’ve been working to do this for over 13 years. In this list, you’ll find their photos, snippets from our interviews, and where you can see more work from each of them.
In our media kit, you’ll see we’re a 2021 Media Partner for the All-Out awards. What’s more, institutions like Flipboard have recognized the work we’ve done to tell the stories of LGBTQAI+ photographers and their work. Further, the site’s developer is Trans, and our staff is far more globally inclusive compared to most other photography publications.
We hope you help us spread the word about the work we’ve done. Without further delay, we encourage you to check out these LGBTQAI+ photographers we’re rounding up.
“That half-awake hypnagogic state before unconsciousness is so visual — and a mix of random thoughts — that it’s when things come together. I have a few friends that will sometimes get messages from me at 3am saying I need to try out some photo ideas on them. Or I’ll leave cryptic notes to myself that I have to decipher the next day.”
“…art spaces are not institutions functioning outside of our world that are socially, financially, and politically steeped in histories of exclusion and segregation. By that I mean, while the art world is often, on the surface, very politically and socially liberal, it is usually as inaccessible to artists of color as the rest of the world.”
“If we had more time, maybe we could elaborate on that still.’ Who was the American Dream attainable for?”
Photographer Rowan Renee has had their Bodies of Wood project make the rounds for years. In our interview, Rowan states:
“The impulse to create Bodies of Wood came from a dream, or rather a nightmare that made it clear that the only way to heal was to talk about what happened. The culture of shame and silence around any kind of abuse within the family is a powerful force, but it’s particularly strong for victims of incest.”
“The only time I have selected a final image was when I needed to make selections for grants and funding. That said, it does make me feeling things to watch a project grow — especially when some of the women have passed away and when you photograph with some people for years — that is meaningful to me.”
“I hope to remember that we can always bounce back from anything. This past year was hard for everyone. I was working 40 to 50 hours a week during the pandemic while being enrolled full-time in college in order to afford my top surgery. It was all worth it. We can always get through it and feel happiness together.”
Photographer Ericka Jones-Craven has spent a while documenting queer culture within southern churches. With that statement alone, most Americans will find her work fascinating. In our interview, Ericka states:
“Oftentimes, I would speak to older members who didn’t quite understand my decision to explore the intersections I communicated but after explaining in-depth my goals for the project, those conversations usually happened to have the most impact! I also interviewed many people who decided to stay anonymous or would prefer not to have their photographs taken but shared their testimonies which helped strengthen the featured narratives.”
David J Fulde
“When taking a photo my first goal is to make it interesting. A boring photo of a great person is still a boring photo. I try my best to mix interesting lighting and concepts with my own connection to the models to create something beautiful.”
“Take, for instance, the recent events of homophobic violence in A Coruña, Spain, that led to the death of Samuel Luiz. There is much more work that needs to be done.”
“I readily admit when Pamela, my second subject, passed I was devastated. I knew it was coming. I knew the end of her story already before we began. But it didn’t change my empathy quotient. It certainly didn’t change my reaction to another human being dying. And that’s okay. I realize that maybe the next photographer doesn’t have the ability to be that vulnerable and still do this type of work. And that’s okay too.”
“When we connect to those we photograph, our energy and emotions are in tune with what affects their daily lives, as those same issues may be part of my own life. Every day allows me to meet someone different and navigate a story that will impact so many people worldwide.”
“As I clicked away, a jolly older fellow made his way over to us. In business garb, not in security costume. He told me I had to leave and that he’d have me arrested if I didn’t immediately obey.”
“At the beginning when I was starting to build the project and didn’t have anything to show for it yet, it was tough to convince people. Once I had my website, that I would direct people to through my profile, I would start to receive interest before approaching myself.”
“I am a young queer boy who deals with Borderline Personality Disorder (which causes my hands to shake leading to the blurriness of some of my images) and these aspects of my identity heavily influence how I view the world behind the lens.”
If you’re at all aware of modern-day famous photographers, then you have to know Brooke DiDonato and the wonderful work that she’s done. She’s a conceptual photographer who works meticulously on her set design and has be featured in places like Fotographiska. In our interview, Brooke states:
“So I started using my camera as a tool to shed light on these stories by creating a body of work that walks the boundary between fact and fiction. These images depict real narratives about vulnerability, instability and self-destruction fused with dream-like visual qualities.”
“Since it was difficult to express it on my own, I wanted to visualize healing through others…”
Lara Santella is a photographer based in Spain and currently traveling. Lara has worked to photograph the streets as well as many LGBTQAI+ issues over the years since first getting into photography. In our interview, Lara states:
“I don’t know if you’ve heard of something called shutter therapy. Still, one of the main reasons I got into photography, six years ago —five, if we don’t count the pandemic— was to make me remember there were beautiful things and beautiful people out there in the world to live for.”
“Like a lot of my work does deal with identity and who we are and what makes us ourselves. I mean, I’m pretty intersectional (gay, person of color, refugee)… so I’m really interested in this not only as a lived experience but also finding out about what makes other people who they are.”
“Well, in a way, Street Photography has pretty much saved my life! The drive to create – and having an outlet for it – has kept me going through a really long period of chronic illness.”
All images used with permission from the photographers in our interviews. Want to be featured? Click here to see how.