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I’m a freelance photographer born, raised and living in Brooklyn.  Photography has been a part of my life for 10 years plus, but it was only about 2 years ago that I decided to pursue it professionally. Since then I’ve been able to make some amazing connections, learn a lot more about photography (both the technical and business aspects) and take some fun photos.

 I took a seminar last year at the Brooklyn Public Library taught by Professor Sarah Lewis, and was totally surprised to learn that Frederick Douglass was the most photographed man in 19th C. America - intentionally so on his part.

I took a seminar last year at the Brooklyn Public Library taught by Professor Sarah Lewis, and was totally surprised to learn that Frederick Douglass was the most photographed man in 19th C. America - intentionally so on his part.

As a Freelance Contributor for Apartment Therapy, I’ve had the opportunity to go all over New York City to meet interesting people, photograph amazing apartments and to see all of the ways in which people create and design their homes. It’s an amazing (and surprising thing) when someone invites me (a complete stranger) into their home and we can just connect over the way they’ve designed their home, which is very often an extension of their personality and character.  

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Black History Month is always a time to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Black people. And as much as I love that everyone celebrates, promotes and discusses Black History every year during this month, I always try to keep in mind and live into (mostly by reading and learning about it throughout the year) that Black History is American history. Our contributions are/have been intrinsic to the creation of America and to the social, cultural and economic fabric of this country and the world.

 

This year, there has also been a lot of personal reflection as well. 16-yr old Chinasa wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice and was passionate about learning about the Civil Rights Movement and I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring some of her into what I’m doing now, but, to be honest, I’m still working on it.

This month, I’ve also realized how much I still have to learn. I recently watched a Facebook Live organized by Diversify Photo, The Photo Brigade and Adorama, which featured two Black women photojournalists, Michelle Agins and Akili Ramsess. Their stories definitely inspired me, but they also highlighted that as much as I think I know about Black History that there is always something left to learn. So this year, I want to dedicate time to learning more about Black women (and men - but I’m starting with the women first) photographers, past & present. 

 My younger sister (on the right). We definitely have some great discussions around social injustice and she currently works to help immigrants throughout NYC. She’s also helps me with my photography by being a model. I did want to include a recent photo of the rest of my family, but we don’t really have any, so we’ll just say that my parents are represented here through us.

My younger sister (on the right). We definitely have some great discussions around social injustice and she currently works to help immigrants throughout NYC. She’s also helps me with my photography by being a model. I did want to include a recent photo of the rest of my family, but we don’t really have any, so we’ll just say that my parents are represented here through us.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

This year, I’ve been finding inspiration from seeing other creatives follow their passion, from seeing the possibilities that they imagined and then, brought to life. These people keep me motivated when I’m feeling overwhelmed about all of the things that I don’t know about being a photographer.

Finding inspiration has been a challenge for me of late. So, I’ve recently decided to pick up my Vivatar 3800N (my first camera, bought for me by mom when I first started showing interest in photography) and get back into B&W film photography.

Dance will also be a source of inspiration and focus for my photography this year. I’ve always felt such big emotion and a fascination with the capabilities of the body when watching a dance performance, so this year, I want to dedicate any extra time that I have to exploring dance photography.

To Learn More About Chinasa Visit:

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AuthorAngela Belt