MPB, the world’s largest online platform for used photography and videography equipment, announced a partnership with TONL, a premier stock photography company specializing in culturally-diverse imagery on September 28.
The companies have created a library of stock images authentically depicting a diverse group of accomplished photographers with their equipment to address the lack of stock imagery containing photographers of color.
“We’ve found that stock imagery of photographers is sorely lacking in diversity, and the images of photographers of color that do exist often feature settings and cameras which aren’t authentic,” says Sophie Collins, Chief Marketing Officer at MPB. “We are honored to partner with TONL, a company that is transforming the idea of stock photography through diverse representation, to create a library of imagery representing people of color behind the lens in more realistic and inspiring ways.”
MPB and TONL organized a photoshoot in Brooklyn to capture the images and stories of six photographers: Steven Molinas Contreras, Claire Charles, Gabriela Celeste, Asfar Khan, Tony White, and Michéle Eyenga. The shoot was photographed by TONL Co-Founder, Joshua Kissi. The kit featured in the photos is from MPB’s website and the photos captured from the shoot will be available for editorial use in an MPB x TONL collection on TONL’s website.
“TONL is not only passionate about launching culturally-diverse stock imagery, but also offering earnest portrayals of everyday life,” says Karen Okonkwo, co-founder of TONL. “We are eager for MPB to bring awareness to this industry-wide issue and to provide an additional platform to the narratives of diverse visual storytellers. TONL and MPB share a common goal to portray an accurate depiction of the many ethnic backgrounds of photographers and videographers and are ready to challenge the stereotypes and prejudice that often overshadow the reality of creators and their unique journeys.”
The companies also interviewed each photographer about their journey to careers in photography and their experiences as people of color. Their narratives can be found here.