baltimore portrait photography

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Every Sunday, the same suave gentleman shows up outside the Nazarene Temple Apostolic Faith Church in Baltimore, Maryland, dressed in a different dapper outfit. M. Jordan Tierney, a local artist and photographer, has been snapping his portrait every week for many months now as she passes him on the way to a nearby farmers market,,

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It’s a muggy summer day, and Joe Rubino is at the train station in Baltimore, taking pictures of a stranger and asking some deeply personal questions. Later, he’ll post this portrait online, along with snippets from the conversation.

“I think that people are hungry for a more real, emotional connection to people,” Rubino says.

His street photography project, Close Up Baltimore, was inspired by photographer Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York blog.

Rubino, who has lived in Baltimore for decades, has spent his professional life doing photo and video work for non-profits in the city. In April, when riots erupted in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, he watched the news coverage, disturbed by the images of his city. It was particularly painful, he says, because “we know how many people in those neighborhoods are working very hard to just create decent lives and opportunity.”

A friend who’d been following Humans of New York for years got in touch with Rubino. “She said: You need to do something like this,” he recalls. He told her he wasn’t sure he was the right person to do it, but that he’d give it a try anyway.

‘Close Up Baltimore’ Tells Stories Of The City, One Portrait At A Time

Photos: Joe Rubino/Close Up Baltimore