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Thanks for Looking

by Brandon Dill

“Thanks for Looking” is a collection of (mostly) unpublished photographs I made just off to the side of what was supposed to be the main attraction. As a daily news stringer and freelance commercial photographer, I’m lucky to provide a livelihood for my family with my camera, but I’m also at the mercy of the assignment gods. Often, I find that the photos I care most about—that feel most powerful and truthful and interesting—are of no interest to the editors who send me out to make them.

With a camera and a credential, doors swing wide and so I try not to take for granted the enormously privileged position in which I find myself, making the most of the permission to poke my nose where it doesn’t belong, relishing intimate interactions with strangers. I hope to make deliberate and thoughtful photographs of the people I meet, preserving a bit of the fleeting electric feeling between us.

Each of these photos offers answers to questions unasked. These moments need photographing. They offer a view askew of the under-noticed magic essential to making up the bigger Whatever.

Orange Mound Royal Court. Memphis, 2018.
Booker T. Washington High School. Memphis, 2016.
Cino, Jookin. Memphis, 2017.
Jennifer and Nevaeh. Memphis, 2019.
Grizzlies Rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis, 2018.
Anthony and King. Memphis, 2019.
Keuntrice, Whitehaven High School Graduation. Memphis, 2018.
Wake For a Friend. Memphis, 2017.
Flora-Bama Bar. Perdido Key, Flordia, 2018.
Lucy, Eliza, and Violet. Memphis, 2017.
Sherwood Forest Yard Sale. Memphis, 2010.
Brandon. Memphis, 2018.
Nathan. Memphis, 2020.
Jessica and Bailey, Big Springs Swimming Hole. Cotter, Arkansas, 2018.
Dance Team. Memphis, 2018.
Security Guard. Memphis, 2011.

Brandon Dill has found a home in Memphis, Tennessee. When not planning road trips with his wife or building blanket forts with his two daughters, he likes to make pictures. He’s photographed for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Guardian, Probublica, Mother Jones, Wired, The Intercept, Getty Images, Associated Press, and others, preferring work centered around issues of social justice.

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