Chris Facey Q&A
Chris Facey talks photography with TheBlkGaze.
To me it means seeing the world through the eyes and experience of Black men and women. It matters because Black men and women experiences have always been dismissed and disrespected in society and it needs to change.
How does this relate to your photography practice?
It helps me to stay focused and remember that when showing the lives and telling the stories of my fellow Black people, to keep it honest.
What do you want to say or address with your photography?
I want to break down stereotypes and or stigmas placed on the Black community by society as well as bridge the gaps between communities to better understand and accept each other’s differences.
What influences and inspires you? How is this reflected in your work?
I’m heavily inspired by my daughter’s. I want to make sure I make work that they could be proud of. I make work that I hope helps better this world for their future.
I also am inspired by a lot of the great Black photographers before who felt compelled to show and tell the world about the greatness of Black people and how the world treats Black people.
It’s reflected in the work by me touching on issues that are in this world that they (my daughter’s) may have to unfortunately face in the future. If I can have a hand and helping a better future I’m all for it.
Who are your favourite Black photographers from the past? Why?
Don Hogan Charles, Gordon Parks and Roy DeCarava. There are so many more but for the sake of time, it’s those three. Their work has always been about showing the truth of Black men and women.
During the time as photographers, they were heavily fighting for the right to be accepted as equal and seen as a human being. Their work showed you what being Black was and how the world treated you for being Black. It also showed you the joy and perseverance of Black people. If at least one of my photos can do that, I think I’m good.
Please describe the highs and lows of your experience as a Black photographer?
A high is that I get to meet so many other Black photographers. It’s exciting sometimes. We share stories and experiences and it also feels good to know somebody relates.
A low, for me, is when I don’t get any opportunities from publications that isn’t about “Black Issues”. Often times I think we get pigeonholed into only covering Black stories or photographing portraits of Black celebrities. Although its very necessary, we can do so much more.
Give us the opportunity to photograph other stories and people from different communities.
What work are you producing and what more would you like to do?
Currently I’m working quite a few projects. My Dad Duty Project for starters. I’m still doing the Woman’s Safety project. Currently I’m working on a project with a fellow photographer on trying to bridge the gap between Black and Jewish communities here in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
I would love to photograph celebrity dads taking care of their family on their day to day. I’m looking at you, Diddy! Lol.
I also would like to get cameras into the hands of today’s youth. I remember the adventures I had as a kid. It would have been way better if I knew anything about photography at the time. I want them to be able to have those memories and be able to refer back to them.
About Chris Facey
Chris Facey is a documentary and portrait photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Chris has the ability to create images that are powerful yet tender.
Inspired by the works of Gordon Parks and W. Eugene Smith, he documents communities with a softness and allows space for emotional depth, while still covering hard hitting issues such as the racial injustices in civil rights to Women’s Safety in New York City.
With both vigor and a trained eye, Chris has been making work centering the Black community throughout his career.
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The Q&A is an ongoing discussion open to Black photographers of all ages, genders and genres.