An American Project:

Dawoud Bey Emulation


Dawoud Bey is an American photographer and educator known for his portraits that capture the diversity and complexity of African American life. He was born in Queens, New York, in 1953 and grew up in various neighborhoods throughout the city. Bey discovered his love for photography at the age of 15 when his godmother gifted him a camera that had belonged to his late godfather. He quickly became obsessed with the medium and began taking pictures of his family and friends, as well as the people and places in his community.


I drew inspiration from Dawoud Bey's "An American Project" as I aimed to emulate his impactful work. Opting to photograph my friends, I believed they would be the perfect subjects to capture the essence of this project. This marked my first foray into capturing people in their natural day-to-day settings. Initially, there was a sense of awkwardness, but as I engaged my friends in conversations about their daily lives and interests, a connection formed. The more we talked, the more they loosened up, resulting in a collection of great photos that authentically reflect the spirit of Dawoud Bey's work.



Dawoud Bey's "An American Project"


My Emulation of "An American Project"