Apple’s latest “Shot on iPhone” campaign video honors Black History Month by highlighting four Black photographers who use photography to capture and celebrate Black culture.
Hometown was created by Phillip Youmans, the first African-American director to win the Founders Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival, The filmmaker won the prize for his 2019 directorial debut, Burning Cane, a drama that follows a deeply religious mother who attempts to help her son and pastor of her church.
In honor of Black History Month, 32 of the country’s most visionary Black photographers show us their hometowns. Phillip Youmans, the youngest ever director to win at the Tribeca Film Festival, follows a number of our image-makers as they each celebrate the Black experience, Black excellence, love, and imagination.
Apple originally commissioned the Hometown series at the beginning of February, highlighting the photography of over 30 Black photographers. The new Hometown film highlights uses the iPhone 12 lineup four of those photographers and the towns they capture: Lawrence Agyei from Chicago, Gabriella Angotti-Jones from Los Angeles, Lauren Woods from Charlotte, and Julien James from Washington D.C.
One part of the film focuses on Lawrence Agye, a photographer from Chicago who says that his goal as a photographer and storyteller is to tell “amazing stories that can change the way that we see the whole Black experience.”
“My artistic identity is defined by where I’m from. Being that I was born and raised in Italy, but I’m also originally from Ghana and now, I’ve been in Chicago for more than ten years. So what does it mean to miss Chicago? It’s just a feeling, it’s an energy thing.It’s honestly my first day of high school, um, just remember seeing pretty much all Black kids in the school and I was just like, Wow. For the first time, I did not feel alone. Because for a long time in Italy, I was the only Black kid in the whole school. There were not enough images of Black people just having a good time, or you know, spending time with their families, anything like that. And one of the main reasons why I do what I do, is because I want to be able to change those type of images, right?
I wanted to change that perception and share it to the world. My goal as a photographer, my goal as a storyteller, is to keep telling these stories. Keep telling these amazing stories that can change the way that we see the whole Black experience.”