Featured Photographer: Carrie Mae Weems

Today we will continue shooting portraits of people outside. Take a few minutes now to browse the work of Carrie Mae Weems for inspiration. How do the props and scenery that Weems includes in her photos help tell a more interesting story?

CARRIE MAE WEEMS (born 1953)

Self Portrait, Carrie Mae Weems

Self Portrait, Carrie Mae Weems

In her early twenties, Carrie Mae Weems was politically active in the labor movement as a union organizer. Her first camera, which she received as a birthday gift from her then- boyfriend, was used for this work rather than for artistic purposes. She was inspired to pursue photography only after she came across The Black Photography Annual, a book of images by African-American photographers.

Weems’ award-winning photographs focus on serious issues that face African Americans today, such as racism, gender relations, politics, and personal identity. She has said, “Let me say that my primary concern in art, as in politics, is with the status and place of Afro-Americans in our country.” More recently however, she expressed that “Black experience is not really the main point; rather, complex, dimensional, human experience and social inclusion … is the real point.”





Today we will:

  • Continue shooting portraits of people
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • the best photos we took today
    • a few sentences describing what went well and what challenges you still face regarding portrait photography

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