Giving Visibility to the Invisible: An Interview With Photographer Ruddy Roye

Longreads

Lucy McKeon | Longreads | February 2015 | 18 minutes (4,489 words)

With over 100,000Instagram followers, photographer Ruddy Roye came of age in Jamaica, and has lived in New York City since 2001. He has photographeddancehall musicians and fans,sapeurs of the Congo, the Caribbean CarnivalJ’ouvert, recent protests inFerguson and inNew York, and the faces of the many people he meets and observes every day. Roye is perhaps best known for his portraits taken around his neighborhood in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn—pictures of the homeless, the disenfranchised, and those who Roye believes aren’t often fully seen.

In Roye’s Instagram profile, he describes himself as an “Instagram Humanist/Activist,” and when looking at his portraits, the phrase that comes to mind is “up close.” Roye is closer to his subjects—who he calls his “collaborators”—than is typical in street photography, in terms of actual proximity as well as…

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