About me

I am a photojournalist and former contributor to the Financial Times and National Public Radio in Japan. I have a masters degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and was a Fulbright Scholar in Japan. My work on the Black Panthers led to my selection for the New York Times inaugural portfolio review in 2013 and garnered one of the highest rankings among entries in the LensCulture 2015 Portrait Awards competition. 

My forthcoming book, The Black Panthers: Portraits from an Unfinished Revolution (co-authored with Dr. Yohuru Williams) will be published in September 2016 by Nation Books, and work from the series will be shown at the Oakland Museum of California, the Queens Museum, and the New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party. 

Most recently, I have been working in larger format black and white, usually taking just a few exposures of each subject. My work, especially on the Black Panthers, centers on documentary portraiture that probes the boundary between journalism and fine art with subjects who share acute experiences and states of mind. I build trust with these “hidden” subjects, and through their experiences, explore the relationship between images and words in telling lean yet complex and rich stories that address universal subjects and themes. 

I am available for select commissions. Please send inquiries to: 

Joan Brookbank