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A great street portrait is more than just a photograph of a stranger. In many ways that person being photographed and the photographer enter a collaboration. The subject is choosing to open themselves to being revealed and interpreted by the photographer. And the photographer, if he’s adept enough, is communicating what they find fascinating and beautiful about that subject. And in the hands of a really good photographer, they reveal something about the community and the culture they exist in.
Shawn Theodore is just such a photographer. Known as @_xST on Instagram, the photographer who calls Philadelphia home has been creating a remarkable series of portraits largely of African American men and women of various generations against the colorful backdrops that exist in rapidly changing urban communities. His work is as much a chronicler of a people at a specific time as it is a bold statement of what it means to be black, to be beautiful and be visible.
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