SHAWN THEODORE - Creative director, photographer
Based in Philadelphia, Shawn is a creative director by day, but is quickly becoming recognized for his unique portrayal of the African American community through his street photography. With a strong emphasis on colors and a distaste for portraying the clichéd blight of Philadelphia's ghettos, Shawn's work rivets us for its simple approach to such a complex entity.
1. Who are you?
Shawn Theodore, age 44 in Philadelphia.
2. Describe your medium & process.
Most of my creative time is spent on the streets. I use my camera to express reinterpretations of my memories. My current project is a personal journey through neighborhoods, familiar and unfamiliar, local and distant, witnessing and recording each person I encounter as existential actors connected by certain, but often unseen circumstances. Every portrait and candid is a soliloquy held within the broader story of people who are living in a shrinking landscape.
3. How did you find your passion? Who/what influences your work?
Before I was introduced to the camera, my first method of creating art was painting, a skill developed with the guidance of one of my aunts, who was accomplished painter in her own right. I’ve never had any formal training in photography, I’ve learned everything I can from my interactions from other photographers. I began shooting street photography in 2008, my visual story as it appears on Instagram is told most often in my hometown of Philadelphia. I began with photoreportage. My photographic influences are Roy Decavara, William Klein, Jamel Shabazz, Theirry LeGoues, Viviane Sassen, and Hans Silvester.
4. What excites you about your work? What do you struggle with?
My vision has evolved over the past 4 years into a more artistically driven expression of street and studio photography techniques. The only struggle I face is that I can't shoot 24 hours a day, I wish that I could.
5. What are your goals? Where do you see yourself going?
I hope to share my work with the world, exhibiting it internationally.