TIME Instagram photographer of the year Ruddy Roye looks at black America through his Leica


posted Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM EDT


Photographer Ruddy Roye is TIME Magazine’s Instagram Photographer of 2016. Roye’s photojournalism and documentary photography has centered on the modern struggles of black people in America and he considers his work to be activism. He describes himself as a “photographer with a conscience” on his Instagram profile.

Roye’s Instagram profile has over 4,000 posts, many of which are portraits. His motivation for starting his Instagram profile was to “open my veins. I felt like I was hurting and I wanted to talk about my hurt,” he told TIME, “I started to look for stories that were my stories. It was easy to just sit down with somebody and talk about them being disenfranchised or being unable to feed their family. I found those stories to be real. They were my stories.”

Over the last four years, Roye has photographed people in his own neighborhood and across the country. He hopes that his images make people stop and think about the issues facing black people in America today. I have selected a handful of Roye’s images to feature below, but you should check out the TIME piece on his work and follow him on Instagram to see much more.

If you’re curious what gear Ruddy Roye uses to capture his images, he spoke with Leica Camera Blog about many topics, including what he uses for equipment. Roye uses two Leica M cameras and a Leica Q. His lenses of choice for his Ms are 35mm and 50mm Summicron optics. His love affair with Leica started 15 years ago and he hasn’t looked back since. Of Leica equipment, Roye says, “Leica has always been about being comfortable with a camera, having confidence in the technology and being confident that what was going to be reproduced is what I had envisioned in my mind.”

Leica M (Typ 240)

What's next for Ruddy Roye? He has two new projects in mind to complete over the next four years, both of which are going to focus on the intimate relationship between being impoverished and committing crimes.

(Seen via Leica Camera Blog. Index image.)