“Close your eyes. Breathe in. Exhale. Look at me.”
"She gave visual amplification to innovative black storytelling.”
“She had a particular way of working with her subjects, especially with us, people of color. It was nurturing and empowering. People trusted her and loved the way she made them look and feel.”
“She helped us see ourselves in the act of claiming ourselves.”
“She invited her subjects to lean into their discomfort, and they would find it to be a loving space.”
"Christine Jean Chambers showed Black people the immense beauty we possessed within and without, in her words and her photographs."
Christine Jean Chambers started taking photos when she was 10-years-old. She was quite impressed with herself until her grandmother’s best friend who was a photographer sat her down and told her that her photos were, ” not so good.” She said, “there’s too much space on the top. It MEANS nothing!” But Christine was 10 so she didn’t understand why that didn’t earn her any bonus points. Oh well.
She kept shooting, but began to work in multiple mediums; painting, acting, and writing. When she moved to New York City to study playwriting at Columbia University in 2004 she decided she would also invest in a new camera so she could capture her new environment twofold.
As a portrait/headshot photographer her process is slightly unconventional. During the beginning of a shoot her primary focus is to help her subject get to a place where they lose the need to pose. By using acting exercises and telling/ exchanging stories with her subjects her photography sessions are more like open conversations than staged moments. Feeling like yourself in front of a camera is not easy, and Christine understands this because she hates having her photo taken!
25 Plays from The Fire This Time Festival: A Decade of Recognition, Resistance, Resilience, Rebirth, and Black Theater contains 25 ten-minute plays originally produced by the eponymous festival. Edited and curated by Kelley Nicole Girod, the anthology divides the plays into seven thematic sections concerning multi-faceted aspects of the Black experience, featuring work and contributions by seminal writers such as Katori Hall, Antoinette Nwandu, Dominique Morisseau, C.A. Johnson, and Marcus Gardley, Jocelyn Bioh, Dennis A. Allen II, and Angelica Cheri.