What Does the Future of Forestry Look Like to You?
We are asking members to help us more accurately represent the diversity of people, forests and jobs in professional forestry in Ontario by sharing photos of themselves or their teams at work that we can use in OPFA media.
Images are compelling and play a huge role in shaping how we see the world and the people around us. Every day, we constantly see photos of people—on social media, on websites, on television, and even in our professional environments. The more we showcase the diversity of people and roles in professional forestry, the more engaged our community of foresters will be, and the more inclusive the culture of the forest sector becomes.
On the recommendation of the Equity and Inclusion Task Team, the OPFA is aiming to build a thoughtful and deliberate catalogue of images to draw from for use in outreach materials, social media posts, and on the OPFA website, to represent the diversity of people in professional forestry and raise awareness of professional forestry as an inclusive profession with diverse career opportunities. We will take care not to simply virtue signal but try and reflect who we are and what we do.
When choosing your photos to share, we asks that images have a high-quality resolution and that all participants in the picture are conducting themselves both professionally and safely. Please make sure that permission is obtained from others in the photo and from the photographer for OPFA use of the image file. From an E&I perspective, active images are preferred because they reduce pressure on people to represent the topic of the photo—instead, the action represents the topic. In other words, we are not looking for headshots or selfies of professional foresters, but rather authentic and accurate depictions of the professional work foresters engage in.
It is also essential to consider that not all diversity can be “seen” but can be illustrated in other visual cues. Clothing with representative messaging, such as the rainbow flag, can convey diversity that is not otherwise recognizable. Pins, patches and stickers on backpacks, water bottles and laptops can also denote support and recognition. Inclusive imagery in forestry is more than people of diverse races and communities; it also depicts varying abilities, technical skills, languages, and the different settings in which professional forestry work is carried out.
By making inclusive photography a priority and asking, “What does the future of forestry look like?” the OPFA can communicate the value of equity and diversity in professional forestry. With the new field season starting, we challenge our members to share with us what they “see” in their workspaces through an E&I lens. The more contributors and voices involved, the better able the OPFA will be to develop and share engaging, dynamic materials that resonate with our colleagues and the wider public.
If you have friends who work in professional forestry that you know take great photographs, please let them know about the photo drive!
Photos can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Members are also encouraged to submit a short description of what forestry means to them, along with their photos, although this is not required. Please note that by submitting photos for this photo drive, you are giving permission for the OPFA to use them publicly in the above capacities; please gain permission from all individuals in the photo. Photo credit will be included when photos are used; please include this information in your submission. Submission of a photo does not result in guaranteed use of that photo; photos will be selected for the various media according to suitability and quality.