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UPDATE: Thaddeus Miles’s Faces: Up Close & Personal Series | TBL Pt. 5

by your cheerful TBL Journal Administrator

It’s Tuesday, April 12, 2016 and day 194 for Thaddeus Miles’s new series, Faces: Up Close and Personal–one of his 365 photo projects. I wanted The Black Lion Journal to post an update on the Faces series’s progress so far.

I’m immediately intrigued by this day’s photograph. It’s of a woman wearing glasses. Simple, really. But there’s something in her eyes that show much more than what first appears here. It’s perhaps a surprised look–maybe she didn’t expect the picture or she felt unprepared. Yet, there’s also a truth much deeper that would’ve otherwise been overlooked if not for an up close and personal point of view–a truth which makes me want to start a conversation with her to find out.

DAY 194

The Faces: Up Close and Personal series are a way to show positive images of people who are living with negative images of their person and their culture. Through photography, the medium in which we’re viewing these faces, we are able to see much more depth, variety of life, and way of living then most people are used to seeing.

In Thaddeus Miles’s own words:

I’ve listened as a mother called her daughter ugly. “Smile for the camera with your ugly ass,” she said, as I took a quick snapshot of her beautiful daughter at an event recently. I’ve listened to many negative stories about black men and their families or lack of family values; statements about how black women dress too sexy; comments about our youth of color and their lack of compassion and joy and the opinions of others for all black people and our “natural hair style.”

Additionally, I’ve been disheartened by the lack of positive, beautiful images of black beauty I could find online to counter the negative narratives being pushed out through social media.

Miles’s photography is an inspiration to many others. His passion for changing the narrative stems from him being an overall good and wise person.

Beauty comes in all forms–all varieties and shapes. Miles’s photography reminds us that we all have the opportunity to change a negative viewpoint into something positive.

DAY 172

DAY 178

Thaddeus Miles:

While searching for inspiration for a new photography project I came across the following quotes from Gordon Parks, which encouraged me to pick up my weapon my camera with the intention of changing the narrative.

“You know, the camera is not meant just to show misery. You can show beauty with it; you can do a lot of things. You can show—with a camera you can show things that you like and hate about the universe. It’s capable of doing both… after working so hard at showing the desolation and the poverty, to show something beautiful as well. It’s all there, and you’ve only done half the job if you don’t do that.”

DAY 181

DAY 193


Keep track of Faces with one new image everyday. The Black Lion Journal will post more updates on Faces and Thaddeus Miles’s work further along in the year!

Faces, Up Close and Personal:
Faces // About:

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