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Celebrating Juneteenth
Joy, love, and the freedom to express yourself

Demetrius Philp by Demetrius Philp on June 23, 2020

Juneteenth a day to come together as a black race, culture. June 19th, 2020, I attended the most beautiful gathering I could only express in visual content. It was inside the Fillmore District in San Francisco, the African American Art & Culture Complex. As you arrived on the block, you felt joy, love, and the freedom to express yourself. It was a dope day to be among my black brothers and sisters, to have a conversation, listen as each one spoke about the piece they were creating. This allowed me to create some brilliant and iconic portraits of a few selected persons as I documented the talented artists doing what they do best.

The event started with repainting the “Black Lives Matter” street mural on Fulton Street, which leads directly to City Hall — which you can see from a distance. It was my first time being present at this beautiful piece. It felt unreal, good all at the same time. I kept saying to myself damn, what a brilliant and artistic statement it is to be amongst — the moment in a lifetime that will be embraced, shared for years to come. Photography not only allows a moment in time to be recorded and shared, and talked about, yet in the images, I believe I’ve done just that. I was present, and I documented so that our stories continue to be covered. Those of you who don’t know me, my name is Demetrius, I go by the name of portraitsbydp.

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©2020 Demetrius Philp. All rights reserved.

More About Demetrius Philp

Demetrius PhilpMy name is Demetrius Philp, but I go by a few nicknames, the preferred ones are D or dp, short for portraitsbydp… My fascinating journey began in Kingston, Jamaica. My mother told me that my love for the camera began one night when the light of a shooting star in the night sky caught my attention. My desire to capture what I saw began at that moment. I started creating photos and the disposable camera became my friend in the early ’90s. I was inspired visually by my culture around me, the vivid colors, my countrymen and women and their fashion, and the music from the sound systems in the neighborhood. Everything I saw was something worth saving and remembering. While I was in high school, I met Jo Ann Clukies, a mentor, a teacher, and a strong woman. She saw something in me that I did not see and she inspired me to keep creating photos. She taught me the fundamentals of “Writing with Light” and I became fascinated with the dark-room process, developing my own negatives, and seeing my images come to life. I was proud and excited - that 4 years went by fast and my hard work allowed me to go to college. I went on to graduate from Brooks Institute of Photography. I have spent over ten years assisting and shooting and building my signature style as a photographer and director. Rather than keeping my head down, as a Black, man I have chosen to allow my light to shine. Photography is the only art that allows me to truly express myself. Photography connects me with people, starting with a conversation, leading to an iconic portrait. I’m a portrait, lifestyle, sports, and advertising photographer. The creative process frees me. I find freedom in photography. Creating portraits frees my soul. I love what I do and respect this medium. I always put in 110 percent effort. My work reflects my passion and personality. When not behind the camera I love to be in the midst of life whether hiking, bowling, running, or just hanging out with friends and family.

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