This April, in response to an all-white, all-male panel at BookCon, the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks exploded. The publishing world started having more conversations about how to change and improve the diversity in children’s and young adult literature, and the public at large started pushing for more diversity in children’s books as well. As a photo researcher, one part of my job that I love is contributing to the diversity within Lerner’s books. From the First Steps series to books for older readers, I love finding photos that will appeal to the broad range of Lerner readers.
Sometimes seeking out certain types of photos can be tricky – the flip side of #WeNeedDiverseBooks is #WeNeedDiversePhotos. The budget of the project sometimes limits what’s accessible for a project, which makes it harder to find the ideal photo and combination of people in that photo. Getty’s Lean In collection showcasing women in more diverse roles is a great example of how stock photo sites can purposefully create content that highlights diversity. The publishing world is coming to terms with the idea that diversity in books must be intentional, not just something that happens by chance. When photo websites share this goal with publishers, it makes creating content that features all different types of diversity just a little bit easier.