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How We Show It: Showing Diversity Accurately, Through Photography

How should you show it? Whatever the subject matter you’re portraying– be it body positivity, masculinity, or senior pets– it’s critical to represent your subject to its fullest.

Shutterstock’s “How We Show It” blog series takes care to cover subject matters that might be difficult to talk about and photograph. Each piece has been written by an expert with intimate knowledge and nuanced insights. Every blog post strives to showcase its contents in their full, unabashed glory. By taking a 360-degree look at how to be representative in your photography, Shutterstock aims to be inclusive of all people, experiences and walks of life.

After all, just because magazines show us slim, white models, doesn’t mean people of different races, genders and body types cease to exist.

So here’s a look at how you can show it– whatever “it” is — through photography.

How We Show It: Bodies

Thin. White. Blemish-free. The representation of body image in society is an air-brushed fantasy. In this blog post, we take a healthy look at reality.

Virginia Sole-Smith, the author of The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image and Guilt in America, examines the intersections of health, body image and feminism in photography and media. Her writing shows that, when we showcase faces and bodies that look more like all of us, we’re saying that all bodies are valid and valuable.

Read the full post here.


How We Show It: Masculinity

Tool belts. Pickup trucks. Beer. These were once symbols of traditional masculinity. But how should we show masculinity today?

In this piece, our author shares his personal reflections on the complicated subject of masculinity. He asks: What does it mean to be a man? What does a man look like?

By examining our rigid definitions of masculinity– and including the actual diversity that exists within real-world masculinity– we can make room for every person’s experiences.

Read the full post here.

How We Show It: Black Hair

How does one woman’s relationship with her hair track trends—and what does it show about America’s complicated history?

In this blog post, our author discusses how we see and admire Black hair in its many iterations… and how representing Black people, and all their beauty traditions, lifts everyone up.

Read the full post here.

How We Show It: Mentorship

His father emigrated from Cuba alone… at just the age of 15. Adam Vasallo, the CMO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, examines the role mentorship has played in his life, through his very first mentor– his father. In this blog, Vasallo shows us the reality of what mentorship actually looks like.

He shows us that everyone needs a mentor… and that everyone can be a mentor.

Read the full post here.

How We Show It: Single Parenting

Struggling. Exhausted. Alone. The representation of single parents is full of stereotypes. One single parent shows us how to change that, through reflections on her own life.

In this piece, we see how single parents (and their children) come from all backgrounds, walks of life, and experiences. By ditching stereotypes and digging into photos that resonate with a variety of experiences, creators can do more than just tell a single parent’s story. They can connect with them.

Read the full post here.

How to Feature Senior Pets in Your Photography

Thousands of senior pets need homes, but often, they’re the least likely animals to get adopted. Shutterstock partnered with Best Friends Animal Society to show how to photograph animals– across ages and species– and get our silver-haired friends out of shelters and into loving homes.

Read the full post here.

How We Show It: Grief

In this post, we discuss how society understands the many faces of grief, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our author details her experiences with creating public memorials, feeling the collective comfort of strangers, and how to show a feeling that’s often described as “indescribable.”

Read the full post here.

It’s Time to Normalize Gray Hair in Images

Gray hair is inevitable. Yet, images of gray-haired people, particularly women, are rare… And they often spark debate. Our author shows us how to represent a hair color that’s often overlooked and scrutinized. She also discusses the process of aging– and how showing that in photography– isn’t just ok, but should be normal.

Read the full post here.

How We Show It: Yoga

Yoga is often marketed as a “new age” trend for the thin, able-bodied, and wealthy. That needs to change. Our author, an Indian American woman, discusses the history of yoga, how we can all share the practice, and how brands should be culturally sensitive and responsible when showing it in their photography.

Read the full post here.

How We Show It: Kids Food

We see a lot of “Instagram vs. Reality” in conversations about social media today. With food accounts being one of the platform’s most recognized tropes, we take a look at how people portray meals for children. What should kids be eating? How should that food be prepared? And how can mealtime be an enjoyable experience for all ages?

Amy Palanjian, the author of Busy Little Hands: Food Play, discusses how food photos have the power to teach parents how and what to feed their kids.

Read the full post here.

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