If you’re a tad triggered by the title of this roundup, let me clarify that photographers don’t need to be separated by race. However, black photographers and artists generally don’t get the dues they deserve, which is why the staff at The Phoblographer are shining a spotlight on photographers of this community during Black History Month. This piece isn’t an attempt to say good photographers of other races don’t exist. This piece is just a roundup of some of the best street photographers from the black community that we have previously featured.
The boldness of the street photography by Soho Trendz is something that would take me years to attempt. This photographer captures gritty photos in an unabashed style that exposes the raw scenes of New York’s daily life.
C. Stephen Hurst
It’s not uncommon to see the oddest things on the New York City subway, but C. Stephen Hurst and his assistant managed to accomplish many fashion runway themed photos inside the cars. He wanted to slow down the traditional street photography process and came up with this creative idea. It wasn’t without challenges as he shares in an interview with us.
Not one to distinguish between an artist and a photographer, Clay Benskin is constantly on the hunt for his next best image. He feels that the street photography community has “too many critics, too many opinions and way, way to many teachers,” which is why he opts to stay off social media.
Running classes that she calls photo therapy is Nina Robinson. Her classes offer a way of soulful healing for her elderly participants by gently engaging them in the art of photography. It started with a beginner’s photography class for senior citizens. Now Nina’s program has become a space where participants can openly and honestly discuss their issues while being engaged with photography.
Melissa “Bunni” Elian
Arrested at 2am 10 years ago, the 37 hours that Melissa Elian spent being incarcerated is a period she counts as one of the most soul shaking in her life. She determined a change in life’s direction was necessary during this short jail stint. Seeing the number of people of color in the Brooklyn Detention Center, she questioned how far America had really come. That moment spurred her to take up photojounalism to present ethical, authentic images of the stories around her.
All images are used with permission and are copyrighted by the respective photographers. The lead image is by Clay Benskin.