Since the photographers featured in the Local Photographer Showcases in each city are supremely talented and excited about reaching new audiences with their work, we will be regularly featuring them to give you more insight into their work and their experience Crusading. Next up is Charlotte Strode from the Brooklyn pop-up:

Tell us a little about your background as a photographer and where you are now with your work.

I call myself a self-taught photographer, but I can't say that truthfully.  My dad was a photojournalist who taught me how to see pictures, even with the simplest things in our backyard.  We had a darkroom at home and I began learning how to dodge & burn and make prints as early as I can remember.   Most of his work was in the south - documenting things like the Civil Rights movement and strip mining in Kentucky - and he taught me how to love place through taking pictures.  I've been shooting ever since, and have taken classes at ICP in New York.  I'm currently working on strengthening my personal projects, instead of simply shooting.

How did you hear about the Crusade, and what were your initial impressions?

I heard about it because I've been a fan of Jennifer Schwartz's gallery and projects for quite some time.  I think I saw a post about it on her blog, and decided to submit an image.  I thought it was such a cool and unique concept - I currently live in New York where fine-art photography and collecting are intimidating.  It feels like a pretentious world that is tough to get involved in.  Art should be for everyone.

Were you excited to participate in the Local Photographer Showcase?  Why or why not?

Of course!  It's great to get your work out there, and a great exercise to engage people about it.

How did the event go for you?  Was it like you expected or different?  Better or worse?  

I loved it!  I think people really liked my image which made me feel good about my work, and I was happy that it took me out of my comfort zone and made me actually say things about what I'm working on.  I also enjoyed meeting the other photographers and made some great connections!

What do you hope will come out of the experience for you - personally and professionally?  Do you think those are realistic expectations?

I'm happy to be a part of this network, and I hope this will continue.  I think the crusade also gave me clarity on what I need to work on with my photographs, so I'm excited to get started on that.

Tell us about the image you gave away at the event and how to see more of your work.

The photograph I took is part of a series of road trips I take to explore my southern roots.  I left the south to go to college, and the distance has made me more interested in the culture that shaped me.  Every year, I take a trip somewhere new to learn about the landscape, people, food, history, and culture, and each time I come back with a better sense of the south as a whole.  This photograph was taken on Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with my dad's 35mm camera from the 1960's.

You can see more of my work on my website, www.charlottestrode.com.

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