Posts Tagged ‘race’

Photographing white people

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

000 MAIN (Re-Scan)

I wonder sometimes about the extent to which my street photography skews toward white subjects…there is a trend there, I’m fairly sure. In part this is because some of the bustling areas I like to photograph in are comparatively gentrified, and also I think partly because of a sort of habitual racism or reverse racism (or maybe a little of each) which registers caucasians as fair targets, as opposed to people of other ethnicities. (And yes, I do sometimes think of street photography subjects in that way, as targets.)

I think also, though, it touches on the problem of reality in photography. One of the things that I think draws me to some of my street photography subjects is the illusions they carry with them, and in general white people are a much richer source of illusions than people of color. (If you don’t know what I mean, try googling “double consciousness.”)

Not sure why that leapt to mind just now. Something to do with Robert Frank, I imagine, since I’m reading the expanded edition of Looking In right now, and since I have a lot of qualms about how Frank deals with race. Also possibly because of this post on Colin Pantall’s blog, which was in my google reader earlier today.

In case anyone is curious and didn’t already know, I’m of mixed race.