One of the most important aspects of being an ally and showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement is recognising when it is (or, more crucially, isn’t) your turn to speak. 


As a white person, I appreciate that I have never personally had to deal with systemic racism or racial microaggressions. For this reason, I would never want to speak on behalf of people of colour regarding these issues. 


Rather, we wanted to hear the perspectives of black creatives in the freelance game, in the hopes of promoting greater empathy, understanding and allyship within the world of freelancing. We spoke to two awesome photographers, who shared their thoughts and experiences.


Jodine Williams specialises in fashion, portrait and wedding photography. Adon is a beauty, fashion and lifestyle photographer based in London.


How has the BLM movement impacted your life as a freelancer? 


Jodine - The movement has offered me more visibility within the black community. I have been promoted via a number of black business directories which helps business.


Adon - Firstly, it's been refreshing, on a personal level. The models and creatives that I've connected with over the years have gone out of their way to amplify black voices. Sharing my work amongst others in their network. It's not something I've experienced before. It's support that I didn't know was there.

I personally don't allow racism to hinder my growth as a black creative. However the BLM movement has helped me to recognise that I've desensitised myself to racism. Filtering it out almost, as a way to push forward. Not something I've addressed consciously.

It's refreshing for racism to be addressed head on, so people can stop pretending it doesn't exist. I mean, hiding from it won't allow things to progress. Growth is painful and the Internet has allowed the world to look in the mirror and confront what's wrong with the way we're living.


What is it like being black in the freelance game?


Jodine - Being a black freelance photographer isn't easy. When attending fashion events, working with modeling agencies and getting jobs it is felt that there aren't many other people like me in those spaces. It can make you feel uncomfortable and empowered at the same time. Uncomfortable because you wonder why there is no one that looks like you around. Empowered because I am in spaces that others like me haven't yet made it to. My presence in certain places can show the generation beneath me and others like me that it’s possible for us to make it.


Adon - My creative persona has been quite elusive until recently. An intentional choice, as sharing your creative work/art comes with a level of vulnerability. However, the support I've received during the movement has encouraged me to put myself out there more. Showing people who I really am and what I care about, instead of being a faceless creative.


Do you have any other comments or observations you'd like to share? 


Jodine - My final comments are that people of all races can bring innovative ideas to the table. It's time we allow everyone’s voice to be heard without bias.

Adon - I feel like we're fortunate to live in the age we do. We have the Internet, so ignorance cannot be used as an excuse anymore. The creatives I know have consistently shared resources relating to the movement. Not only educating themselves but making an effort to educate others too.