Meet The Photographers Behind Our We Are Many Project

Australia is one of the most diverse countries in the world, but you wouldn't know it from looking at the media and advertising we consume on a daily basis. At Refinery29, diversity and inclusivity are our core values, which is why it's important for us to play a part in helping to evolve the visual representation of women and underrepresented people in Australia to coincide with our launch. 
That's where the We Are Many project comes in. 
We’re proud to announce an ongoing partnership with Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, to create stock photo libraries that will spotlight multiple underrepresented communities in Australia over the next 12 months.
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The project launches with a library of 100 images capturing First Nations peoples across five key categories identified by Refinery29 Australia and Getty Images as lacking in its representation of Indigenous Australians: work, relationships, wellness, lifestyle and technology. In order to help this come to life, we partnered with Port Hedland-based photographer and proud Ngarluma, Karriyarra (Pilbara) Yawuru, Nyulnyul (Kimberley) woman Bobbi Lockyer.
The next two image galleries, which are set to drop over the coming six months, will focus on plus-sized and LGBTQIA+ communities in Australia. These will be shot by Sydney-based queer photographer and stylist Lexi Laphor (@femmeasfuck) and Melbourne-based photographer and plus-size model Laura Du Vé (@lvdphoto) respectively.
Get to know each of the photographers below.

Bobbi Lockyer, 35, WA

What impact do you hope the First Nations collection will have? 

I have always been very passionate about Indigenous representation because growing up I never got to see that familiar face around me in the media or any positive representation of Indigenous people anywhere mainstream, so the narrative was very Caucasian and I am really proud that I got to help change the narrative and put our faces out there more. The impact will be great for more brands to be diverse and more inclusive by having access to First Nations imagery.

Who are your favourite emerging photographers?

 Marley Morgan (@barefootwandering.photography) and Lowey Wright (@salty_one_here).
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Who/what is on your bucket list to photograph? 

Thelma Plum would be amazing to photograph, absolutely love her! I also have a secret dream to design the jerseys for, and photograph, my AFL team, the West Coast Eagles.

What's your best photography or editing hack for rookies?

My favourite photography trick is to shoot through an object or greenery to frame the subject. It can add so much depth and change the whole perspective.

Laura Du Vé, 30, VIC  

What impact do you hope the Plus Size collection will have? 

I hope this project allows writers and journalists, advertisers, and agencies who use stock imagery to showcase a more inclusive range of bodies and a more authentic representation of the world we live in. This is especially important in an Australian context, as I find we are severely lacking inclusive and heterogeneous depictions of people and bodies. For too long has it been skinny white women laughing, eating salads or looking down at their laptops with furrowed brows. Fat babes deserve to look equally stoked about that salad. I'm excited to be able to create something that will hopefully have a long-lasting impact on how we use stock images and through that, understanding the impact we have as individuals on how we can continue to decolonise beauty standards.

Who are your favourite emerging photographers?

I have so many! Some are emerging and others have been around for a few years and have an incredible body of work: Shelley Horan (@shelleyhoran), Atong Atem (@atongatem), Jess Brohier (@jessbrohier), Amos Gebhardt (@amos_gebhardt), Marley Morgan (@barefootwanderingphotographer), Lexi Laphor (@lexilaphorphoto), Miki Sophia (@michaelasophiaphoto).
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Who/what is on your bucket list to photograph?

I've been fortunate to shoot in live music and performance spaces over the last five or so years, photographing musicians I admire such as Ravyn Lenae (who is a genius). However, my bucket list has got to include: SZA, Beabadoobee, Mahalia, Imogen Heap, Willow Smith. And closer to home, I'd love to shoot Ngaiire, Mia Healey, Cate Blanchett, Peach PRC, KYE, Art Simone and Imbi. 

What's your best photography or editing hack for rookies? 

Don't be afraid to put all sorts of random things in front of your lens. You'll be surprised by the amount of different artistic results that come from it!

Lexi Laphor, 30, Sydney

What impact do you hope the LGBTQIA+ collection will have?

I hope that it can help provide more representation especially within Australian and Sydney lifestyle imagery where it can be very homogenous. 

Who/what is on your bucket list to photograph?

My bucket list for Sydney would be to cast and shoot for Vogue, Rush and ID Mag. Globally, my dreamiest of dreams would be to shoot Aweng Ade-Chuol, Sha’Carrie Richardson, Peggy Noland, Lil Nas X, and Naomi Watanabe. 

Who are your favourite emerging photographers? 

My favourites are Sly Morikawa (@slymorikawa) and Olivia Krause (@its_not_a_date).

What's your best photography or editing hack for rookies? 

My favourite photography hack for rookies is to just start. The more you can get on set and be hands-on, the more confidence you'll gain. As with all creative mediums, there is an endless amount you can do to get experience, but assisting and going out and building skills by trial and error will teach you much more than you realise. 

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