At the conclusion of Pride Month 2022, we’re rounding up some of the best stories of LGBTQAI+ photographers we’ve done. This roundup includes lots of work put together by our staff over the years in conjunction with the many photographers we’ve helped champion. We think you’re bound to fall in love with their stories. Here are some LGBTQAI+ photographers worth a follow.
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Recognizing the Work The Phobographer Has Done for Inclusivity and LGBTQAI+ Photographers
I’m the Editor in Chief and founder of The Phobographer and I don’t do enough to acknowledge the work we’ve done. Because of this, people often don’t recognize it. But for over 13 years, The Phobographer has interviewed tons of photographers. We’ve worked to get their permissions and blessings to publish their work and put them in the biggest spotlight possible.
With that said, other publications would simply just put a list together of photographer to watch. We go the extra step. This list includes only the photographers we’ve done full interviews with. To that end, these photographers have received at least one dedicated blog post to their work. And we’ve been working to do this for over 13 years. In this list, you’ll find their photos, snippets from our interviews, and where you can see more work from each of them.
In our media kit, you’ll see we’re a 2021 Media Partner for the All-Out awards. What’s more, institutions like Flipboard have recognized the work we’ve done to tell the stories of LGBTQAI+ photographers and their work. Further, the site’s developer is Trans, and our staff is far more globally inclusive compared to most other photography publications.
We hope you help us spread the word about the work we’ve done. Without further delay, we encourage you to check out these LGBTQAI+ photographers we’re rounding up.
Photographer Bodie Strain has worked with “shy subjects” to create visually complex photos. In our interview, Bodie said:
“That half-awake hypnagogic state before unconsciousness is so visual — and a mix of random thoughts — that it’s when things come together. I have a few friends that will sometimes get messages from me at 3am saying I need to try out some photo ideas on them. Or I’ll leave cryptic notes to myself that I have to decipher the next day.”
Photographer Nina Ahmadi has a unique perspective most photographers lack, but should listen to. In our interview, Nina states:
“…art spaces are not institutions functioning outside of our world that are socially, financially, and politically steeped in histories of exclusion and segregation. By that I mean, while the art world is often, on the surface, very politically and socially liberal, it is usually as inaccessible to artists of color as the rest of the world.”
Photographer Katerina Vo evokes thought-provoking issues through her work. In our interview, Katerina states:
“If we had more time, maybe we could elaborate on that still.’ Who was the American Dream attainable for?”
Photographer Rowan Renee has had their Bodies of Wood project make the rounds for years. In our interview, Rowan states:
“The impulse to create Bodies of Wood came from a dream, or rather a nightmare that made it clear that the only way to heal was to talk about what happened. The culture of shame and silence around any kind of abuse within the family is a powerful force, but it’s particularly strong for victims of incest.”
Photographer Annie Flannigan has worked to tell various stories over the years about abuse, PTSD, and so much more. In our interview, Annie states:
“The only time I have selected a final image was when I needed to make selections for grants and funding. That said, it does make me feeling things to watch a project grow — especially when some of the women have passed away and when you photograph with some people for years — that is meaningful to me.”
Photographer Cyrus Arnieri has one of the most wonderful attitudes we’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. In our interview, Cyrus states:
“I hope to remember that we can always bounce back from anything. This past year was hard for everyone. I was working 40 to 50 hours a week during the pandemic while being enrolled full-time in college in order to afford my top surgery. It was all worth it. We can always get through it and feel happiness together.”
Photographer Ericka Jones-Craven has spent a while documenting queer culture within southern churches. With that statement alone, most Americans will find her work fascinating. In our interview, Erica states:
“Oftentimes, I would speak to older members who didn’t quite understand my decision to explore the intersections I communicated but after explaining in-depth my goals for the project, those conversations usually happened to have the most impact! I also interviewed many people who decided to stay anonymous or would prefer not to have their photographs taken but shared their testimonies which helped strengthen the featured narratives.”
David J Fulde
Photographer David J Fulde is a creator who works incredibly hard to create visually fascinating photos that folks will stare at. In our interview, David states:
“When taking a photo my first goal is to make it interesting. A boring photo of a great person is still a boring photo. I try my best to mix interesting lighting and concepts with my own connection to the models to create something beautiful.”
Photographer Gøneja has done lots of work to tell more stories about the queer community over the years. In our interview, Gøneja states:
“Take, for instance, the recent events of homophobic violence in A Coruña, Spain, that led to the death of Samuel Luiz. There is much more work that needs to be done.”
Photographer Ori Aguila admits they’re on a hiatus from the art form. But Ori has worked to tell fascinating stories about grief in the past. In our interview, Ori states:
“I readily admit when Pamela, my second subject, passed I was devastated. I knew it was coming. I knew the end of her story already before we began. But it didn’t change my empathy quotient. It certainly didn’t change my reaction to another human being dying. And that’s okay. I realize that maybe the next photographer doesn’t have the ability to be vulnerable and still do this type of work. And that’s okay too.”
Lynsey Weatherspoon has worked to tell BLM stories amongst so much more over the years. In our interview, Lynsey states:
“When we connect to those we photograph, our energy and emotions are in tune with what affects their daily lives, as those same issues may be part of my own life. Every day allows me to meet someone different and navigate a story that will impact so many people worldwide.”
It’s really hard to not know who Jonathan Higbee is. The famous street photographer has also worked on conceptual and fine art pieces over the years. In one of our interviews, Jonathan states:
“As I clicked away, a jolly older fellow made his way over to us. In business garb, not in security costume. He me I had to leave and that he’d have me arrested if I didn’t immediately obey told.”
Photographer Adam Moco has worked on a project photographing people from dating apps like Grindr and Tinder. In our interview, Adam states:
“At the beginning when I was starting to build the project and didn’t have anything to show for it yet, it was tough to convince people. Once I had my website, that I would direct people to through my profile, I would start to receive interest before approaching myself.”
Photographer Ryan Ochoa is a creative that works to tell stories about mental health. In our interview, Ryan states:
“I am a young queer boy who deals with Borderline Personality Disorder (which causes my hands to shake leading to the blurriness of some of my images) and these aspects of my identity influence heavily behind how I view the world the lens.”
If you’re at all aware of modern-day famous photographers, then you have to know Brooke DiDonato and the wonderful work that she’s done. She’s a conceptual photographer who works meticulously on her set design and has been featured in places like Fotographiska. In our interview, Brooke states:
“So I started using my camera as a tool to shed light on these stories by creating a body of work that walks the boundary between fact and fiction. These images depict real narratives about vulnerability, instability and self-destruction fused with dream-like visual qualities.”
Photographer Hao Nguyen is a Toronto-based creative who won the 2021 All-Out award with this wonderful photo. In our interview, Hao states:
“Since it was difficult to express it on my own, I wanted to visualize healing through others…”
Lara Santella is a photographer based in Spain and currently traveling. Lara has worked to photograph the streets as well as many LGBTQAI+ issues over the years since first getting into photography. In our interview, Lara states:
“I don’t know if you’ve heard of something called shutter therapy. Still, one of the main reasons I got into photography, six years ago —five, if we don’t count the pandemic— was to make me there were beautiful things and beautiful people remember out there in the world to live for.”
In the Donut series, Ali Choudry tries to show that we’re all very different from one another. And what better way than through things that we can all relate to! In our interview, Ali states:
“Like a lot of my work does deal with identity and who we are and what makes us ourselves. I mean, I’m pretty intersectional (gay, person of color, refugee)… so I’m really interested in this not only as a lived experience but also finding out about what makes other people who they are.”
Cam Crossland identifies as non-binary, and they say it’s played a huge roll in how their work has progressed. In our interview, Cam states:
“Well, in a way, Street Photography has pretty much saved my life! The drive to create – and having an outlet for it – has kept me going through a really long period of chronic illness.”
All images used with permission from the photographers in our interviews. Want to be featured? Click here to see how.