Black Lives Matter.

Protesters at 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on Tuesday after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Photographs tell stories. When shared, those photographs can alter the course of history in ways almost unimaginable. Every major social and political movement for more than a century has spread through photography.

Elizabeth Eckford ignores the hostile screams and stares of fellow students on her first day of school. She was one of the nine negro students whose integration into Little Rock’s Central High School was ordered by a Federal Court following legal action by NAACP. Source: Getty Images.

We rely on photographs to understand a complicated world. They give us access to the emotion, the anxiety, the rage. They give us an opportunity to see new perspectives, challenge our own, and find ways to move forward.

(Original Caption) Firemen bear in on a group of African Americans who sought shelter in a doorway as hoses and dogs were used in routing anti-segregation demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama, 3rd May 1963. Source: Getty Images.

Photographs have continually shown us that systemic racism against Black people in America is real. We will stand against that racism however we can. Protecting Black lives shouldn’t be divisive. It’s not an “issue.” For our Black community, it’s a matter of living and dying.

An officer accosts an unconscious woman as mounted police officers attack civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama who were attempting to begin a 50 mile march to Montgomery to protest race discrimination in voter registration. Mounted policeman in background are part of Sheriff Jim Clark’s Dallas County posse. Police used tear gas, clubs, whips and ropes to turn back the demonstrators as they crossed bridge over the Alabama River at the city limits. Source: Getty Images.

Photography can expose injustice. It can open doors that should have never been closed. It can save future lives. SmugMug will stand against racism. Against bigotry. Against hate. Photographs have the power to change the world. Change we desperately need. We’re ready for that change.

Terrence Floyd, George Floyd's brother visits the location where his brother was killed,  now a memorial, at Chicago Ave and E 38th St in Minneapolis, Minnesota

We don’t have all the answers. We’re still learning. But we are committed as a company to being better than we have been. Right now, we’re focusing on making sure Black photographers have access to our platforms to share their work as it relates to current protests and broader work surrounding fighting racial injustice.

Protesters at 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on Tuesday after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota

We’re starting here knowing there will always be more to do and more to learn. We’re ready to listen. We don’t want our support to end today, so we’re also putting together an action plan for our brands to continue fighting for what we know is right.

What we’re doing, starting today:

  1. Effective today, we are providing SmugMug and Flickr Pro accounts to photographers who are creating and documenting recent activity around fighting racial injustice. We believe photography has the power to change the world, and we believe this moment, this movement, is historic. To further the change we see starting to take place right now, we want to make sure these photos and the stories behind them are widely available and accessible to audiences across the world and become part of the historical record. If a photographer you know would like to be considered for a free SmugMug account or free Flickr Pro account, please encourage them to apply.
  2. To that end, we will also soon launch a SmugMug site hosting content from any photographer, to promote and sell prints portraying the Black experience in America. All proceeds net of COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) will be donated directly to organizations who are fighting racial injustice in America. If a photographer you know should be considered for placement in this print gallery, please encourage them to apply here.
  3. Using our existing Trust and Safety team within SmugMug, we will continue to pursue expunging white supremacy, racist, and hate groups from our platforms. SmugMug and Flickr will never be safe havens for hate groups, or individuals, to spread their message of intolerance. Our platforms will never serve their platforms.
  4. We are committing to make this part of our everyday conversation. We’ll be partnering with non-profit organizations to develop grants, and create broader exposure through professional marketing support, for people who are using photography to document the fight for racial justice, and of the Black experience in America.
  5. We will continue to pour resources into our internal diversity, equity, and inclusion committee which, in partnership with our DEI consultants, will continue to review, refine, and improve our company policies, hiring systems, and messaging practices to serve our goal of becoming an anti-racist company.