WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BLACK, FEMALE & LOVE CINEMATOGRAPHY
Yes, we exist.
- 1.AddictionI'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 workWorking 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.RepresentationY'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 expectationsI'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.SolidarityIt'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.PassionI'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 😊😊😊