Through Her Eyes
Barbara DuMetz has combined a bundle of energy with a creative eye to become one of the nation's finest photographers. This lofty status has allowed her to taste some of the glamorous fruits of her more than 40-year professional career, which began in Los Angeles in the early 1970’s.
DuMetz's camera has taken her from the beaches of California to the top advertising agencies in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities around the country. She has shot photo layouts of celebrities and noted personalities such as Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Betty Saar, Bernie Casey, Richard Roundtree, Pam Greer, Nancy Wilson, Della Reese, Ed McMahan and Lou Rawls Among others. This dynamic photographer commands top day rate fees for shooting magazine ads for Coca Cola, Toyota, Miller Brewing Company, Nestles Inc., MacDonald’s and Delta Airlines to name a few.
A typical day for Barbara might start at 7:30 in the morning shooting a product ad in the studio and end on location shooting a portrait of the literary author Bebe Moore Campbell in Her home for a book Jacket cover.
Born in Charleston, West Virginia and reared in Detroit, Michigan, DuMetz inherited her attraction to photography from her grandfather Eustace T. DuMetz- a professional photographer in Charleston W.Va. Still it wasn't until she graduated from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and was employed as a buyer trainee for a New York department store that she began to think seriously about a career in photography.
"I went out on a location shoot for the advertising department, DuMetz says "and fell in love with all the lights and cameras. Since my grandfather was a photographer, my family was very supportive of my choice to become a Photographer." With the help of a friend and a borrowed camera, DuMetz put together a portfolio and searched out an Art School. Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California is the Harvard of commercial art schools on the west coast so that’s where I went. DuMetz says.
After finishing Art Center in 1973 the hard work began. " I had to teach and work at a department store to make ends meet. My first big brake came as a photo illustrator for Essence Magazine."
Following that were jobs for Black Enterprise Magazine, A&M Records, MCA Records, Capital Records and for the Promotion divisions of numerous other public relations firms and production companies. She also shot fashion and product advertisements for the Robinsons-May, Broadway and Emporium Capwell Department Stores.
Over the years Barbara has exhibited her work in a number of group shows in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles as well as having been featured in published books on Black Women Photographers and the arts as well as in Magazine articles on the subject of commercial photographer’s. She has also been awarded with three CEBA awards and a LULU award sponsored by the Los Angeles Advertising Women Association.
Presently Barbara owns and operates her photography business from her home office/Studio in Atlanta, Ga. where she has lived for the last 3 years.
As a photographer working with art directors, graphic designers and other art buyers commissioning for my style of photography, my main concern and what I keep foremost in mind is bringing my creative interpretation to the assignment. When collaborating with another’s concept of what the final visual outcome is to be, my creative process is to complete as much preparation and research about the subject matter as possible. This allows me to visualize and gather the elements, which will be needed to create the final look to the photograph.
The challenge is to marry two visual concepts and blend them seamlessly into one image. In the final analysis my image is not only for me and the Art Director but for the larger audience who will be reading and viewing the magazine, brochure, advertising campaign or any other visual medium for which the assignment is being created. When that goal is met, it is a joyous moment for me and I am all smiles.
With my personal work, the images that I create are born out of my need to manifest visual interpretations of human experiences centered around emotions such as love, happiness, joy, friendship and laughter, as well as feelings of beauty, sensuality and serenity. I am inspired by listening to good music (Jazz, most often), my vivid imagination, and an insatiable curiosity and inquisitiveness about life and spirituality.
With my abstract images, my objective is to capture in a photograph how I see the oblivious abstractions in reality. I am naturally drawn to and aware of the details in life that exist all around us, so you could say, I photograph the details. Sometimes the abstract image is created from an unintended photograph taken randomly or from one taken on purpose, and then the final outcome is recreated later using the digital process as well as other creative methods.
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