Dondre Green: A Bronx Tale
By Alixandra Rutnik Posted on Nov 15, 2021
One Club Member shares his photo experience with us
A lot of us today are all about that perfect Insta solo shot. We want it to be beautiful, captivating, and draw attention, but we can’t all be naturally gifted photographers. Fortunately The One Club community has a number of shutterbugs in its ranks, both professional and amateur, and we wanted to take some time over the coming weeks to showcase some of them.
Say hello to photographer, founder and creative director of Bronx Narratives and One Club Member Dondre Green. When it comes to portrait photography, Dondre knows what’s up. He’s knows all the good angles and has stunning vision. He founded Bronx Narratives to tell the stories that we need to hear and to share a candid perspective of the Bronx community. Dondre is a visual storyteller by nature, so we had to get to know more about him and the beautiful work he produces.
When did you discover your love and passion for photography?
Photography discovered me. I always found myself with a camera in my hand as a teenager. As I got older, I learned that a camera is a very powerful tool and I studied how to craft images and tell stories through it. Being a young adult in NYC, creating images has opened many new worlds for me and introduced me to people, and taken me to places that I probably would have never experienced otherwise. I never doubted the stories I could potentially tell and the things that I saw. I've been on a constant journey of finding new ways to express those things. *Portrait on left by Norman Cacho.
"As I got older, I learned that a camera is a very powerful tool and I studied how to craft images and tell stories through it."
Since you specialize in taking portraits, what distinguishes a good portrait from a great portrait?
A great portrait is honest. A good portrait is aesthetically pleasing. I like to incorporate movement/experimentation, style, and color whenever possible. I've yet to do any self-portraits just yet.
"A great portrait is honest. A good portrait is aesthetically pleasing."
What makes you want to tell stories through photography?
Creating images is my voice. Things that I can't quite convey in words, I find it's easier to do in images. A lot of my photo capturing method comes from following the energy I see presented, whether that's making street photography or portraiture images — I like to chase the feeling and see where that leads me. My editing process has changed a lot over the years — I used to be much quicker, but now my process can take up to several days. I find there are always new things to refine and ensure they are properly articulated in an image, such as skin tone, cropping, white balance, etc. I'd define my photo-taking style as human-centered.
What is it about the Bronx, its various neighborhoods, and its community that you love so much?
I love the Bronx, because I feel there's no place in NYC like it. Growing up in the Bronx pre-social media era, my family and I spent a lot of time doing things together and I was exposed to different neighborhoods at an early age. The community in the Bronx makes the borough feel like home, and the lessons I received from the Bronx will always guide me, wherever I go.
I created Bronx Narratives as a vehicle to explore honest stories from people who resided here — the voices who are often overlooked but are most stigmatized. I found this to be a constant disconnect. The importance of storytelling lends a hand in all the creative work I do– I want to reimagine worlds, express honest stories, and make people feel something.
"I created Bronx Narratives as a vehicle to explore honest stories from people who resided here — the voices who are often overlooked but are most stigmatized."
One Club for Creativity Members get featured here on the One Club website and across our social media channels. Have a new project you'd love to share? An upcoming exhibition and you'd like us to help spread the word? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always love to know what our One Club Members have been up to, so don’t forget to send us your cool work!