Amid the negative images of the black experience found on the internet and portrayed by countless media outlets, photographer Thaddeus Miles has created a positive force with his Faces project — a photography project aimed at capturing positive and normal images of the black experience.
Day 338 and 339 from my faces up close series. Thinking about keeping the series going beyond my 365 goal. pic.twitter.com/9RaY3G2z4H
— Thaddeus Miles (@Sifublack) September 5, 2016
Miles is probably best known for his 365 photography projects. His blog showcases his previous 365 projects — one picture every day. Faces, however, is a much different 365 project, targeted at a much needed positive social change. With every image we see, the black experience overcomes past negative representations and works to uphold value in black lives.
His images create a new narrative, one that surpasses stereotypical images to show a side of normal that is typically shunned from the spot light. The black experience is one that is real and it is full of life, love, creativity, spirit, and strength. TBL Journal’s last update focused on Miles’s mission for Faces. In his 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.”
Using the #ShiftYourPerspective hashtag, Miles asks us to change the way we see the narratives of black experience. He asks us to view our American story through his lens. By doing so, we could appreciate different perspectives and varying world-views within the American culture.
¡PSST! All Images Are Copyrighted 2016 to Thaddeus Miles and his Faces Project. All rights reserved to him. The Black Lion Journal has shared them with permission. Visit the submit page for information on how you too can be featured on TBL Journal.