I'm Lindley, pronounced LIN-lee. I'm a professional photographer who specializes in working with people of all ethnicities and genders, not just the ones whose bodies are likely to be seen in magazines and advertisements.
I think every body on the planet is beautiful and worthy just as it exists today. That's why I created Representation Matters.me to provide high, quality, diverse stock images for small and medium-sized business owners and bloggers, while giving artists from diverse backgrounds exposure and a living wage.
If you'd like to chat further about my work and my body positive approach, I'd be delighted! I'm available for interviews and follow-up questions as well. You can reach me by any of the methods below.
Facebook: Representation Matters.me
Owner: Lindley Ashline
With the advent of online stock image galleries over a decade ago, stock images have become ubiquitous. Almost every serious photographer tries stock photography as a way to earn money from their work. Major competitors in the market -- such as Shutterstock and Getty's iStock -- offer the work of contributors as well as in-house photographers and illustrators.
We're all familiar with stock photos like the group of smiling "businesspeople" that includes one Asian woman, one black man and three white men, all thin and able-bodied. These images have become cliches for a reason: Stock photographers almost exclusively use models and TV-show-style sets to replicate real-life environments, resulting in images that fail to reflect their real-world counterparts.
When photographers only use trained models in their images, they draw from an extremely small and homogenous pool of "acceptable" bodies. These images in turn form a body of work that we see reflected everywhere: in advertisements, on blogs and media sites, and in magazines.
This narrow ideal affects us. A recent study found that "70% of teen girls agreed that magazines strongly influenced what they thought was the ideal body type." Also, "Numerous correlational and experimental studies have linked exposure to the thin ideal in mass media to body dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin ideal, and disordered eating among women."
Representation Matters.me was created as a rejection of these cultural narratives.
Representation Matters gives small business owners a way to represent the real bodies and lives of their readers in their marketing and on websites and social media. It contains Lindley's own photography as well as photos and illustrations from a growing number of contributors, making diverse and body positive artwork accessible and affordable while paying contributors a living wage.
What makes Representation Matters different is Lindley's grounding and ethical foundation in body acceptance. Her commitment to respecting and elevating all bodies leads her to seek out clients and models who have what might be called "non-mainstream" or underrepresented bodies and ethnicities such as plus sizes, LGBTQIAP+, and people of color. This commitment means that people of all sizes, shapes, colors and backgrounds are truly welcomed, not just tolerated.
Lindley also seeks out artists from diverse and less privileged backgrounds to contribute work to the site. Unlike contributors to the large, mainstream stock image sites, who receive royalty payments of 15-35% of sales, Representation Matters contributors receive 50-60% royalties, helping provide a living wage for these artists.
Lindley Ashline is a professional photographer in Seattle, WA, who specializes in body positive portraits of people of all sizes, genders, orientations, ability levels, and ethnicities, not just the ones whose bodies are likely to be seen in magazines and advertisements. Lindley takes a compassionate, empathetic and judgment-free approach to her photographic subjects, with little to no retouching.
This kind of judgment-free approach is extraordinarily rare in the crowded photography market. In fact, she's so committed to this approach that unlike most portrait photographers - who do heavy skin retouching and routinely make their clients look thinner by using tricks like the Photoshop 'liquefy' tool - the only retouching she does is light skin smoothing, very subtle blemish removal and a few tweaks to make clients' eyes come alight in the final images.
She created RepresentationMatters.me in 2016 as a response to (and rejection of) the airbrushed, normative, too-perfect stock photography available on the big mainstream stock sites.
"Earlier this month my wife and I got the opportunity to work with S Lindley Ashline in a photoshoot for her amazing growing business, Diverse Stock Photos. She is so talented! The work she is doing brings body positive, diverse, and fun photos to the stock photo market and will ultimately result in a better representation of 'real' people in things like marketing ads, business tools, and social media posts. We were both so grateful to be a part of her mission. Thanks for the great experience, Lindley!"
"I'm proud to be a part of this project.
The photographer is a talented individual who is changing the landscape of current stock photos with DIVERSITY. WE are all unique, we are all beautiful, we are worthy, we are our truest selves. Take a look, and share with those who are looking for that diversity."
"My husband and I posed for stock photos. I signed us up partly because I wanted to get past my dislike of having my photo taken. Several hundred snaps later I think I may be desensitized smile emoticon:-) The day was seriously cold but we had a lot of fun. Score one for body positivity!"
"You're amazing! You're incredible! What you're doing makes me SO HAPPY!!!
I'm a blogger and a fat woman who searches stock photo sites for plus size women. I want to pay for the photos I use and wish it wasn't so difficult to find the images I need."