A Woman on a Mission to Empower Black Photographers

Tomayia Colvin is the woman behind a first ever photography conference for black photographers.

Houston (United States) native, Tomayia Colvin is on a mission to celebrate diversity by working with conferences and workshop organizers to bridge the colour division, so that voices previously  missing from the photography industry are included. Tomayia is a bestselling author, educator, and nationally-published and award-winning high school senior portrait photographer. She provides modern senior pictures for HS seniors in the Houston area. She has taught at WPPI, Imaging USA, United, The Focus Tour, and a host of others and is now a full-time entrepreneur.

Colvin is no rookie when it comes to creating opportunities for photographers of color. The Houston high school senior photographer and educator has a gift for turning exclusion into opportunities for black photographers. She recently created an online photography education platform, Tomayia Colvin Education, as well as a photography magazine, Toffee and Honey, that showcases the unique perspective and talent that photographers of colour possess.

After searching for photography conferences that specifically supported black photographers and featured black speakers, Colvin came up empty-handed. She realized a gifted group of artists was being overlooked, so she created her own conference, “The Cookout”.

The Cookout features an all-black photography speaker line-up and fills a void in the photography industry. It is a photography conference like no other. Attendees experience everything from real potato salad and barbecue to photography courses and life-changing connections. With the first conference held in Atlanta in September 2018, a resounding success, it is set to become a sell-out annual event in the photography calendar, with the next one already lined up for October 2019 in New Orleans.

Colvin said, “Opportunities for minority speakers to speak at large conferences don’t come every day.” She hopes to give speakers of colour an opportunity to teach and empower their community. Colvin’s instructors include industry leaders such as Jide Alajika, Kesha Lambert, Reg and Kahran Bethencourt, Leslie Kershaw, Lyndsey Weatherspoon and Tim Riddick, to name just a few.

For more information on online courses and future conferences, contact Tomayia Colvin at press@tomayiacolvineducation.com.

As a former educator with ten years of classroom teaching Tomayia makes sure that every teen that she photographs leaves inspired and ready to chase their wildest dreams.

“Photographing teens is more than just taking pretty pictures. It’s mentoring and instilling that each and every senior is capable of achieving anything that they put their mind to.”

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