FEATURES


SHOTS No. 148 : Summer 2020:
 IN THE WILD
Featured Photographer : Henry Danner
Emerging Photographer : Jeremy Perry

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FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Henry Danner















All Images © Henry Danner

I was born and raised in the Bronx, NY by a working class African-American family. My childhood and adolescent years were largely shaped by family, cultural and religious traditions. As I matured and became more aware of the ways of the world, I developed a passion for serving as an agent of change and doing whatever I could to ensure that I leave the world a better place than I found it. To that end, I pursued a career as a Social Worker and have been in the field for almost a decade, focusing solely on youth development and education. Social Work practice has, in many ways, contributed to my determination to make photos that work to deconstruct the complex narratives of the communities that I work and live in.

My journey with photography all began during my undergraduate days in 2007 when I took an introduction to digital photography workshop while studying journalism. I did not do very well in the workshop and ultimately did not connect with photography the way I anticipated that I would. Even with that experience, I still had an interest in the role that photos played in telling stories and whenever I read magazines or news articles, the photos were always the very first thing I looked at to understand the message being shared. In 2017, I received a camera as a gift for Christmas during a unique period in my life. I was unemployed for the first time since my teenage years, I was about to travel to Europe by myself for the first time, and I was searching for a deeper meaning and purpose in my life. I dedicated my time to re-teaching myself everything I learned back in college, and making a concerted effort to go out and make pictures of things that were interesting to me. I also began to use photography as a way to connect spiritually with my late grandfather who was, amongst many other things, a photographer as well.

In the beginning, my curiosity, eye for detail and love for exploration were my biggest motivators to get out and make photographs. I later realized that my love for history and culture, and my views of society were what would drive me towards a specific type of photography that brought out my creativity and  allowed me to communicate my thoughts and perspectives. The Street and Social Documentary Photography subgenres were my entrance point into the artistic side of photography and they provided me plenty of opportunities to put into practice the technical aspects of photography all while learning more about myself as a creative individual. With relentless hours spent out on the streets over the past few years, the camera has revealed the things that I believe to
be most important to me.

One of the emerging themes that I see in my work is the resilience of Black people. I’m drawn to this theme because it is the common thread of the Black community. Our resilience has been our tool for survival and it continues to energize us as we still deal with the after-effects and rebranding of colonialism and slavery in America. This has, without a doubt, been a key factor in my decision to go out and document the current phase of the Black Lives Matter movement. I think this is a very important moment in time and while I’m here, I want to make sure I am doing whatever is in my power to contribute to the fight for Black lives to be recognized and valued.

Going out to document the protests has reenergized my passion for making photographs that portray collective Black resilience. During my time covering the protests I have witnessed the pain and agony of people crying out for justice for the lives  snatched away at the hands of police brutality. I have also witnessed the joy of a diverse group of people uniting together for a great cause. I have seen and personally been a part of powerful moments of community and relationship building between perfect strangers. It is an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life and I hope that I will be able to say that all of our efforts contributed to breaking down the walls of systemic racism and oppression.

In this moment and forever, it is my desire to use photography as a medium for sharing accurate representations of the struggles and the triumphs of Black people. By documenting our existence and experiences, I also want the images that I make to provide healing from the trauma that we’ve been subjected to with proliferation of negative visual stereotypes that do nothing more than dehumanize us. I hope and pray that these images tell the full and honest truth: Black lives matter.
—Henry Danner / www.henrydanner.com

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EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHER: Jeremy Perry






All Images © Jeremy Perry

I am a 28 year old photographer born and raised in Atlanta Georgia. I strive to reveal the inner wars we all fight on a daily basis. We are all battling different things, inner struggles that we hide behind our "mask". My goal is to inspire those who see my work to find the "silver lining" in that battle, to discover beauty in unusual places. ■
—Jeremy Perry / Instagram: @Shotbyjp