Jamel Shabazz
In conversation with

Jamel Shabazz

Brooklyn / NY, USA

Hi Jamel, please introduce yourself.

I am a documentary and street photographer, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I was introduced to photography by my father who was a professional photographer.

What does analog photography mean to you? What excites / fascinates you about it?

Analog photography to me is keeping with the tradition that my father passed on to me. What excites me is that I can continue to honor my father through my photographic practices of shooting film.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of analogue photography?

The advantages for me when working with film, is that I am more thoughtful in making images due to the limited amount of frames I have. The disadvantages are having to process film, and the inability in real time to show my subjects their image.

Do you concentrate on a certain topic in your work? ​

I focus on documentary, street, portrait and fashion photography.

Are there (analogue) photographers who have influenced your aesthetic and approach?

Yes: Edward S Curtis, James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks, Leonard Freed and Steven McCurry.

Do you have certain cameras and films that you prefer to work with?

The Contax G2 & Contat 645. My film of choice is Ilford HP5.

Speaking of films: What does your workflow look like? ​

Currently I am scanning & digitizing my archive.

What advice would you have for other photographers who are reading this interview?

Be objective.

If you publish your work on Instagram: curse or blessing?

It’s been a complete blessing.

Which 3 photo books can you recommend / should you definitely own?

Steven McCurry (“Untold: Stories behind the photographs”), Jimmy Nelson (“Before they pass”) and Gordon Parks (“Half Past Autumn”).

Thank you so much for your time!



Contax 645, Contax 62


Ilford HP5

Farbe & s/w

Color & B/W

Selected works

© Jamel Shabazz
© Jamel Shabazz
© Jamel Shabazz
© Jamel Shabazz
© Jamel Shabazz