Photo by Chloe Aftel
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Photo by Meg Allen
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Photo by Katy Grannan
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This year, Bay Area photographers turned their lenses on gender and class identity issues right here in our backyard.
Berkeley’s Chloe Aftel was recognized by American Photo for her series (commissioned by this magazine) on Bay Area teens who define themselves outside the male-female binary. Shot in the subjects’ personal spaces, with shadows playing off the walls to evoke a contemplative mood, the images question what gender identity really entails.
In her first full collection, which went viral through sites like the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, Oakland-based Meg Allen explores queer women’s reclaiming of the word “butch” by exposing both the masculine and the feminine traits that they possess. trucker hats, tattoos, piercings, and suits are all softened by allen’s intimate angles and soft lighting.
Shot against a stark white background, Katy Grannan’s series lets the viewer decide how to interpret the portraits of poverty-stricken but resilient residents of Modesto, Fresno, and Bakersfield.
Originally published in the July issue of San Francisco