Since graduating from Georgia State University in 2020, Deanna Griffin has not waited for permission before she hit the ground running. Her passion projects like Roots in Beauty set her up to collaborate with Glamour Magazine, Meta, Live Nation Urban, Kate Spade NY, Her Campus Media, DoorDash, We The Culture, and Nickelodeon, among others. Along with three other Atlanta-based cinematographers and photographers, Deanna and friends founded Colour Co. to offer people of diverse backgrounds a simplified approach to equipment rentals. Deanna’s mission: to tell the stories of underrepresented communities that deserve light shed on them. There’s a lot more than meets the eye, and we’re grateful Deanna took the time to share her thoughts from behind the camera.
iU: Your mission is to tell the stories of underrepresented communities that deserve light shed on them. Whose stories are we missing specifically and what obstacles do they face in telling their stories?
DG: I am interested in highlighting a variety of different stories. I often mention wanting to see more coming-of-age stories for young people of color. There need to be more diverse points of view rather than a cluster of similar versions. Growing up, I never saw specific moments of my life represented, and for the most part, I still don’t. Granted, you should not expect the media to represent your life directly, and that’s not what I am saying, but I would love it if more Late Bloomer stories in the media were not spun into being a “love yourself” storyline. We do love ourselves, and that’s not always the point. I want to see more mental health advocacy projects. They don’t have to go too deep but show a variety of different types of symptoms people deal with. I also want more positive earth news and positive eco/green news — with the media being so doom-filled and negative. They make it hard to hear and find the positives. For example, I love the newer Ikea commercials that are focused on creating a better and cleaner future for future generations. That’s important to highlight and makes you feel good at the end of the day. The stories I want to be associated with must be a part of the change and positive difference in this world. We must be the change we want to see, and it starts with you.