Lynsey Weatherspoon (https://www.lynseyweatherspoon.com/) Lynsey Weatherspoon’s first photography teacher was her late mother, Rhonda. Like her mentor-in-her-head Carrie Mae Weems, that first camera – a gift – delivered purpose. Her career includes editorial and commercial work that has been inspired and powered by her first teacher’s love and lessons. The #blackqueergirl is a photojournalist and portraitist based in Atlanta and Birmingham. Using both photography and filmmaking as tools to tell stories, Weatherspoon’s work has been featured in print and online in such publications as The New York Times, USA Today, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time, ESPN and ESPN-owned The Undefeated. As a member of a modern vanguard of photographers, she is, often called on to capture heritage and history in real time. The Equal Justice Institute’s Bryan Stevenson. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The Legacy Museum. Ronnie the shoe repairman in downtown Birmingham. The people of the Gullah-Geechee Corridor. An entire family infected with and affected by a pandemic. Demonstrators with raised fists and sad, vulnerable eyes. The sons and daughters of history. The mothers of children who died making history. The majesty of Mardi Gras. The loving hands of family caregivers. Lynsey Weatherspoon’s work has been exhibited at The African American Museum in Philadelphia and Photoville NYC. She is an awardee, The Lit List, 2018. Her affiliations include Diversify Photo, Authority Collective, and Women Photograph.
LACP Interviews Lynsey Weatherspoon
LACP asks Lynsey Weatherspoon ten questions about her background, career in and beliefs about photography.
Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?
Lynsey Weatherspoon: I am an editorial, portrait, and commercial photographer. The majority of my work centers Black communities in their existence and disappearance in American history.
LACP: How long have you been shooting?
LW: I’ve been working professionally for over ten years.
LACP: Where did you get your training?
LW: I’m self-taught, though my first mentor was my mother, who was a fine art photographer.
LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?
LW: I realized photography was taking over my daily thoughts in 2008 after I started using the media quite often.
LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?
LW: I did consider walking away several times, but decided to stick with photography after deciding to dedicate more patience and guidance into the craft. The energy within photography will stay with you no matter how hard you try to leave the field.
LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?
LW: I’ve sacrificed time with friends and family, yet I’m grateful for their patience as I kept my blinders on while building my career.
LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?
LW: Gaining a higher sense of purpose and confidence has allowed me to become the visual artist I’m continuously growing into each time I pick up the camera.
LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?
LW: Building a Personal Project from the Ground Up
LACP: What do you love most about teaching?
LW: I really enjoy the ‘ah-ha’ moments while teaching; the determination of when the information finally makes sense.
LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?
LW: Make sure to make friends with both patience and kindness.