Dawoud Bey on Photographing People and Communities

Dawoud Bey on Photographing People and Communities

Aperture Foundation works with the world’s top photographers to distill their creative approaches, teachings, and insights on photography—offering the workshop experience in a book. The goal is to inspire photographers of all levels who wish to improve their work, as well as readers interested in deepening their under- standing of the art of photography.

In this book, Dawoud Bey—well-known for his striking portraits that reflect both the individual and their larger community—offers his insight on creating meaningful and beautiful portraits that capture the subject and speak to something more universal. Through images and words, he shares his own creative process and discusses a wide range of issues, from approaching strangers and establishing relationships with subjects, to sensitively representing communities.

Over the course of his 40-year career, Dawoud has taken portraiture and never, seemingly, dressed it in much more than that. “My ideas have largely centered on the human subject; I’m interested in visualizing the human community in a broad range of contexts. The strategy and context may change, but it’s always a person or people sitting or standing in front of the camera. Pictures of people in front of a camera—that describes everything that I’ve done for forty years, every single picture.”, he writes.

About the Author:

Dawoud Bey (born 1953) is an American photographer and educator renowned for his large-scale art photography and street photography portraits including American adolescents in relation to their community, and other often marginalized subjects.

A portrait of Dawoud Bey

The work of Dawoud Bey is held by major collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Bey’s honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, the United States Artists Guthman Fellowship; Guggenheim Fellowship; and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. He is a professor of art and a former Distinguished College Artist at Columbia College Chicago.

More info on Aperture.

Series: The Photography Workshop Series
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Aperture (November 12, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1597113379
ISBN-13: 978-1597113373
Size: 7.5 x 0.4 x 10 inches
Weight: 1.2 pounds

The work of Dawoud Bey is held by major collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Bey’s honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, the United States Artists Fellowship; a Guggenheim Fellowship; and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. He is a professor of art and a former Distinguished College Artist at Columbia College Chicago. His monograph Class Pictures was published by Aperture in 2007.

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