1.Discuss how Dawoud Bey approaches the idea of using photography as a way of finding his voice. Describe one of his projects and the impact he sought to create with that project.

Dawoud Bey approaches the idea of using photography as a way of finding his voice by capturing photos of people or specific locations that speak to him. Bey has the ability to leave an everlasting impact on others as he illustrates the beauty that can be found in everyday life, no matter where you are or who you are. He enables viewers to look beneath the surface of photographs by dissecting it to find deeper meanings representing real life. For instance, in his interview with PBS he explains the ways in which he takes the issues surrounding how African Americans are typically represented in photographs and transforms it into a masterpiece that demonstrates how a picture is worth a thousand words. One of Dawoud Bey’s projects known as, “Night Coming Tenderly, Black” focuses on the history of reimagining the Underground Railroad as fugitive slaves bravely navigated their way through different landscapes to escape persecution. His photographs are a series of photos of the routes that slaves traveled through in the darkness to reach freedom. While photographing Lake Erie he stated that he “felt a very strong presence” because it is an actual location with history. The impact that he sought to create with this project is “reshape the world” by recreating a fundamental time in history. 

2. Discuss how Carrie Mae Weems uses photography to find her voice.Describe the kitchen table project and the impact that she sought to create with the project.

Carrie Mae Weems uses photography to find her voice by shining a spotlight on life through a woman’s point of view and expressing herself in the sacred place of her own home. She demonstrates the role that photography has played throughout history in capturing significant moments, some of which are oftentimes forgotten. The kitchen table project is based on a series of photos in Weems own kitchen using a single light source. She utilizes this space to illustrate the different ways that a domestic living space changes from day to day and the situations in it that take place. The kitchen table project centers itself around a woman with a variety of scenarios involving her own family, friends, children and spouse. The emotions portrayed in each photograph are evident based on the individual’s facial expressions and body language. For instance, one of her photographs captures her watching her three children playing cards at the kitchen table with bags under her eyes and her hands delicately touching her own face. The impact that Weems sought to create with her project is sharing vital themes including those of friendship, hardship, love, motherhood, etc. The kitchen table is typically where family and friends come together as one. There is a sense of this within each photograph.

3. How can you find your own voice ?

I believe there are a multitude of ways to find your own voice and express yourself. In photography I can find my own voice by capturing and sharing moments that speak to me and have impacted me in one way or another. Finding my own voice through photography ultimately means focusing on capturing moments that genuinely interest me and have significant meaning to me. It is vital to acknowledge how perception has the ability to alter people’s overall experiences and interpretations of different photographs presented may differ among people. To be open-minded is a vital characteristic that will allow you to analyze and possibly be able to understand a photographer’s point of view.