RoGina: June Black Women Photographers Showcase
We’ve partnered with Black Women Photographers, a group that aims to disrupt the notion that it is difficult to discover and commission Black creatives, to do a showcase of some of their members. Founded by fellow photographer Polly Irungu, it is a home for Black women to receive proper recognition, and most importantly, get hired — they are dedicated to providing a hiring resource for the industry’s gatekeepers. Through honest dialogue via social conversations and workshops, the platform seeks to ensure that more Black women are empowered to make the industry as colorful as it ought to be. Polly also started a COVID-19 relief fund to help support this community as they navigate the pandemic.
We are in such admiration of the work that Polly and the BWP community have been doing, and we’re excited to announce that each month for the next 12 months, we’ll be showcasing a photographer from the Black Women Photographers community here on our blog! Be sure to check out their thoughtful words, work and to connect with them! Head on over to the Black Women Photographers website to learn more about this amazing group, and if you’re hiring, reach out HERE to see how you can get access to the database!
This month, you’ll meet RoGina Montgomery, a photographer based out of Chicago, Illinois. We hope that you enjoy learning about her passion for photographing families, the many places she finds inspiration, and how she stays organized using metadata!
What kind(s) of photography are your main focus?
I am a children and family photographer
Where are you based out of?
I am based out of Chicago, Illinois
How long have you been photographing?
For about 3 years
How did you first get started in photography? How did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
I got my start in photography from my dad. He is always into the latest gadgets and electronics and our house was always filled with photo albums and prints of family portraits on the walls. Photography was always a part of my life and as I got older, I wanted to continue telling the story of my family. That evolved into helping others do the same.
What inspires you?
Everything honestly. The cinematography of movies, quotable dialogue TV shows, color combinations I see while taking my kids for a walk and stories I read or hear from others. My notes app on my phone is filled with things that have inspired me, inspiration can strike at any time.
What are your favorite things to shoot?
Children and family portraits, and my family.
How would you describe your photography style and approach?
My photography is driven by everyday moments, emotions and stories. I try to capture as much personality as I can from my subjects to bring you closer to them. I am obsessed with details, motivated by light and inspired by vibrant colors. I believe stories can encourage, pique curiosity, and make long-lasting impressions.
What are you most proud of as a photographer?
The people I’ve gotten to help through my work.
What are your short-term goals for the future? Long term goals?
My short-term goal is to transition to just Children’s photography and develop a platform to teach others how to document their own family. Long term, I would like to open my own studio that can also be used as a creative space for other photographers.
What have you gotten out of being a part of the Black Women Photographers community? What does it mean to you?
It’s a network of women who want to see each other win. It’s been a source of inspiration, collective thinking, support and friendship.
Have you attended any of the BWP events? If so, which ones & what have you gotten out of them?
I have attended a couple of the virtual events: the Night with Black Women Camera Ambassadors, A Q&A conversation with Sade Ndya and more recently, A Conversation with Pete Souza. It was like getting inside information from creators that I would have never had access to before, or have just been too intimidated by to ask questions. Attending these events and having access is SO helpful. Something I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do without the help of BWP.
What’s your approach to organizing your images?
*screams internally* I am really looking for a better way to organize my images. Right now, they all sit on a hard drive under the client’s name. For my personal images, I try to organize them by date, but this gets confusing as well.
Do you have any tips for ways to work more efficiently and/or streamline your photography workflow?
Learn and use metadata and keywords! There used to be times when I’d be looking for an image and I could see the image in my mind, but couldn’t find it on my hard drive. This would happen in my personal work as well when I started to create my end-of-year family yearbooks. Taking the time to properly keyword images has saved me lots of time.
How has Photo Mechanic made an impact on the way you work?
Photo Mechanic has made culling and selecting images so much easier. Since I do posed and unposed images of families in my session, I take a ton of images. With Photo Mechanic, I can easily select the keepers and edit them right away. I also like the ability to add multiple keywords to multiple images (and videos) at once.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
I also have a personal blog called Life By RoGina where I share details of my family’s everyday moments and shenanigans. On the blog, I teach others how to document their life, and how to save their family history through a technique I call Visual Memoirs.
How can we stay in touch with you?
You can check out my website: roginamontgomery.com
This was brought to you by Camera Bits, the makers of Photo Mechanic. To try a free 30-day trial of Photo Mechanic, go here!