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Billy Weeks

southern based photographer

Artist Statement

HondurasAs a documentary still photographer, I deal in the past.  Once an image is taken, the environment will never be exactly the same.  I also understand that it takes as much creativity to capture an image as it does to create one.   I believe that a great deal of responsibility lies on a photographer who records history and in some cases the image can bring about change to its subjects or communities. Many great documentary photographers who have influenced my work have photographed in the Chattanooga area.  Robert Frank, who authored the book  The Americans, has published images from Chattanooga. Also, Margaret Bourke-White photographed in Ringgold, Georgia for her 1937 book You Have Seen Their Faces.  These images are reminders of how important everyday life is to our society, and I believe that documentary still photography is the best way to preserve the culture of the time.  As for my own photography, my goal is to make each image tell a story.  Each subject is important and if I have chosen the right subject the image has power.  Over the last 25 years I have photographed many important events.  Some of these events are extraordinary, like presidential visits and breaking news, while others represent daily life in my community or abroad.   These images are my statement and I hope they speak publicly for the people who cannot speak for themselves.