Trailer for “Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer” a film by Charlie Ahearn
“As a street photographer, he was breaking all the traditions, of the Robert Frank traditions of street photography, having to do with spontaneity, and having to do with capturing images…
“Yes, he did everything that they would say was wrong. He would spend time with his subjects first. He would the pose his subjects, and in a very theatrical way. To which the earlier idea, it destroyed the life of what it was about. But I immediately perceived that this was an expression that was essentially hip hop. I had seen flyers of people posing like this from the late ’70s. In other words, the way he posed these people was not something that he made up. These were, in a sense, traditional cultural signifiers. They go back to the street culture of the ’70s.”
Charlie Ahearn on Jamel Shabazz‘ unique style of street photography
See Also: Through the lens of Jamel Shabazz. Snip from intro to New York Times slideshow of Shabazz’ work
“He made these folks visible the way rap made them audible. He took everyday people and turned them into icons. Nobody told him to do this. He just went out and struck gold.”
Bill Adler, hip-hop historian and photography aficionado on Jamel Shabazz’s work.