Emery Barnes is a Portland, Oregon based photographer that caught our eye with his Black Lives Matter protest photography that he captured during the peak of the BLM protests in June, 2020.
The black and white scale images were not only powerful to look at, but also had a unique spin put on them, as Emery tried to preserve the privacy of the protesters by placing a black strip over there eyes so that they were unidentifiable.
He shared that this idea was inspired by the artist Kendrick Lamar who released an album that used the same black bars to cover the eyes of the person on the album. In Emery's case however, he added those black bars for privacy.
This unique touch brought recognition to his photography, and soon companies, creatives and brands were contacting him about using his photos. You can see his images on Scopio.
Emery's Top 5 Tips for Creating your Photography Brand
Just put out the work that you love.
For Emery, his photography passion really took off during the protests, as a Black photographer (West African, family originating from Liberia) the desire to share these images was even more passion fueled.
You don't need an expensive camera to capture a great image.
Don't let the idea that you need expensive gear stop you from being creative, there are tools out there like Adobe photoshop where you can make simple edits to your images. (Emery was able to add the effect of the black strip across the protestors eyes through photoshop). He even shared that he shot and edited an entire film on his phone and used editing tools to edit it.
Don't get caught up on excuses or circumstances.
Emery uses the example of the Corona Virus (or any of the recent 2020 events) to note that for many photographers these events could be used an excuse to stay in your home and be stagnant in your art (not create). But really, when there is opposition this is the best time to create.
If you're unaware a lot of artists are even doing photoshoots on Facetime. Check out Talles Borges, a photographer from Brazil who used COVID as an opportunity to become more creative. See the short video!
Let your passions move you.
They'll point you in the right direction and give you clarity on the path that is best for you. When you find that subject that you want to either speak up about or share content for, then seek it out, follow the road that it guides you down and you'll be led to the most creative way of sharing that issue or subject.
Take advantage of the time you have, and the places you are.
Hands down, as a photographer you have to be open minded and creative where ever you stand. Lot's of photographers and creatives have full time jobs, or live in areas that are not typically 'beautiful'. But as a creative you have that unique vantage point and are able to see the diversity, or the interesting side of life that others might not be able to see. So even if your day is filled with subway rides, and lots of work - try to find the small moments that stand out and capture them.
See the whole story here!