Name: Elizabeth Young
Instagram/Website: @elizabethyoungpictures / elizabethyoung.com
America, Apollo, Beaux Arts, Brides, Buro 24/7, Christie’s, Cosmopolitan, Elle, The EP, Fast Company, The Face, The Fader, Forbes, Glamour/Italy, Harper’s Bazaar/Kazakhstan, i-D, InStyle, Interview, IO Donna, Jane, Latina, Life, Lucky, Mademoiselle, Nerve, Nest, Newsweek, Nylon, Ray Gun, Self, Stereotype, Surface, Télérama, Theme, Travel and Leisure, Vanity Fair, Vibe Vixen, Vogue/Germany
Avon, Bank of America, Benjamin Cho, Benjamin Moore, Bröö, Bugada & Cargnel, Currency, Edwin Jeans, Fancy, Garnish, Inhabit, Johnson and Johnson, !K7, Lars Andersson, Lewis Cho, MAC, MTV, Origins, Musée de l’Orangerie, Neuberger Berman, Reebok, Revlon, Shiseido, Softsheen-Carson, Sony, The Sprezzatura, TBWA\Chiat\Day, T-Mobile, Triple Fat Goose, Ulla Johnson, V2, Zoe Lee
DT: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? And some highlights in your career? Please name drop (laughs).
EY: I’m a fashion/portrait photographer who currently lives in NYC/Paris. I’m from San Francisco and graduated from Art Center College of Design, California. The highlights of my career are that I’ve been able to: work with creative, talented people at different points in their careers; encounter different worldviews, find inspiration, learn new things, meet new people; and, evolve with colleagues that I started out with.
DT: Why is it important to have diversity in the beauty and fashion industries?
EY: Diversity is important for representation, inspiration, and empathy. I think people benefit from representation on a conscious level and unconscious level. It’s important to see people who look like oneself in the public eye. Equal representation can inspire and motivate. And seeing people who are different is also important. I like to think that being exposed to different people results in more empathy and tolerance as well as more creativity and inspiration.
Also, being able to honestly discuss the complex issues surrounding diversity is equally important. Having a honest discussion is hard enough on a personal level. Scaling it up to the workplace and beyond is even harder.
DT: Have you seen shifts in the last decade?
EY: Yes, I love seeing a broader range of models across the board. The whole picture is much better than when I was a child. We have a long way to go but I do see progress, even if it feels like one step forward and two steps back at times. Real change is slow. I do think we are living in and contributing to a crucial moment.
DT: In a perfect world, what would be an ideal evolution in the industries of beauty and fashion?
EY: I’d like to see real, last change happen faster. And it would be nice if certain brands could get their act together!
DT: Do you realize that your presence in the industry, inspires many people around the world?
EY: No, not at all!
DT: What advice would you give your younger self?
EY: “Pay attention; be fully present in the moment but also keep an eye on the middle distance and long-term; be flexible; be open to learning, new experiences, and new people. Do what’s right for you and don’t get distracted by everyone’s opinion. At the end of the day, you have to live for/with yourself.”
DT: Are you living your purpose?
EY: Yes! Sometimes those extra challenging moments make it hard to stay focused but everything always works out in the end.
DT: Finish this sentence, “I am grateful for…”
EY: “…waking up every day, for my health, my friends, my family, and all of the amazing opportunities that have come my way.”
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