Yes, we exist.
  1. Addiction
    I've explored multiple arenas of filmmaking over the past 10 years, but nothing has stuck quite like cinematography. I walked around in 8th grade with a shitty DV cam documenting my peers, and loved every minute of it. Moments are fleeting, and having the ability to capture those is extremely dope
  2. Hard work
    Working twice as hard as my white counterparts. Fellow camera folk often question my ability to, oh idk, get a battery for the camera or even turn it on. Building trust becomes an extra burden I have to bear. Newscast camera ops have openly scoffed at my presence in the room. In undergrad, I got beat out time & time again by white folks with "more experience"
  3. Representation
    Y'all think there's a lack white female cinematographers? LOL. While there are a few women of color, there are virtually no black women currently heading mainstream Hollywood/media projects (shouts to Kira Kelly's of the world). Many of us are directed towards the indie/nonprofit field where we'll "have more opportunities"
  4. High expectations
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    I'm especially attuned to how characters of color are captured on film. First off, I need to SEE them, regardless of how white/pale-skinned their counterparts may be. We once spent an extra 15 mins lighting a scene with hella extras so we could see those with darker skin tones. It's not a hassle, it's a necessity. And when it's done right, it works beautifully; it adds a sense of rawness & authenticity (just look at bae gleaming here)
  5. Solidarity
    It's not all bad news. I cling so closely to my fellow women of color in lighting & cinematography. When you grow up in a community faced with hella injustices, you naturally perceive it differently than the outside world. This becomes so important to your own shooting style & relation to other cinematographers
  6. Passion
    I'm constantly surprised by how much I learn each time I pick up the camera. People present themselves in ways much different from reality. You can see a whole person's struggles & triumphs in a few frames. It took me until my senior year of college to realize my skills had been wasted mostly due to lack of opportunity. So I spent the entire year shooting projects of social & political importance. Having this talent brings me so much joy, even in this oppressive ass industry 😊😊😊