With camera in hand, Marvin Joseph delights in changing the narrative through positive, yet provocative imagery of how Black people are perceived. A witty comedian. An icon in the world of dance. A woman displaying her natural crown and glory.

Joseph sees humor and beauty in many things, especially people. A natural people person. He often says that he tries to make extraordinary pictures out of ordinary subjects. He practices on his friends and associates almost all the time. They trust him to experiment on them with the camera. This allows him to play with various lighting techniques, props, and concepts. He never knows exactly how anything will turn out until he’s knee-deep in the process or when the photoshoot is over.

He’s in awe at the end, just like the subject.
This retrospective of Joseph’s portrait work reveals how he shows there are no strangers in his world.

-Sandra M. Stevenson

Artist Bios

  • Marvin Joseph

    Marvin Joseph, a native of the District of Columbia, has been a staff photographer for The Washington Post since 2000. He started snapping photographs at age 14 and began his career at The Post as a news aide at 19. Joseph interned for the Walt Disney World Company in Orlando, Florida, where he documented tourist visits and various events at the theme parks. He landed his first job as a staff photojournalist at the Press Journal in Vero Beach, FL, before working for the Palm Beach Post. In July 2000, he returned to the D.C. area to work in the Howard County bureau for The Washington Post. He covers general assignments for the news organization. Joseph is especially passionate about celebrity portraiture and fashion photography.

    Honors and Awards: Pictures of the Year International; National Press Photographers Association’s Best of Photojournalism; Northern Short Course; The Annual Associated Press Sports Editors Contest; White House News Photographers Association; Photographs included in the 2011 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Explanatory Reporting (documenting Specialist Robert Warren, a soldier who returned from Afghanistan with a traumatic brain injury.)


  • The Washington Post

    The Washington Post

    The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform, and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. The Post is as much a tech company as it is a media company, combining world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere. Our approach is always the same — shape ideas, redefine speed, take ownership and lead. Every employee, every project, every day.

Beautiful Strangers

 coming soon

Featuring: Marvin Joseph

Curated by: Dudley M. Brooks

Presented by: The Washington Post
  • The Washington Post


View Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Number 1 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
Explore other locations and exhibitions nearby

Cherie Scurry Burns: model, wardrobe stylist, and hair styling.

Sharron Bullock: Make-up artist.

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings