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Dontrius Williams

Photographer Dontrius Williams felt like he had to pick a lane about 10 years ago, so he “went straight to film. To me, digital images lie flat, but it’s the look with film. It’s the grain and contrast I like, and that’s when I started photographing with purpose.”

Some recent results of his “purpose” are on display now through February 29 at . Williams’  Details collects more than 30 of his candids and portraits. While some document different parts of the country, a majority revolve around Sundance Square, where he is an artist in residence. Search the Instagram hashtag #details or visit @willid420 for more. Whether on a tiny screen or irl, Details is powerful yet also welcoming.

Every photo is in black and white and has been shot with Kodak or Ilford 35mm film on a medium-format camera. For his street work, Williams goes for his Leica M2, and for the studio, he picks up his Mamiya 7 II. The prices on his Details pieces range from a few hundred dollars to the thousands.

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Originally from North Carolina, Williams lived in Katy and Corpus Christi before making Fort Worth his home in 2011. He’s been a full-time photographer since he picked his lane, and now, at 37, he’s in the groove.

Williams loves details, hence the name of his show. At the Brooklyn Artists Ball at the Brooklyn Museum last year, one attendee jumped out at him. “I spotted this woman holding a handbag with ‘Sisterhood Is Powerful’ on it in neon blue lighting. I couldn’t have dreamt of seeing this scene, and, really, that’s what I love about street photography. I quickly shot from the hip and was blessed by the photo gods with the framing of her being surrounded by all the women and their high heels. The small details are what I enjoy the most about this image.”
Photo by Dontrius Williams
Williams said “Cowboys of Color” was particularly important to him. “This was my first time attending the rodeo, and being able to see a performance by the Black cowboy crew, Circle L Five, was a highlight on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”
Photo by Dontrius Williams
Some of Williams’ favorite pieces come from his work in urban street culture with a focus on Black beauty. “Key” is a portrait of one of his friends, a powerful Black woman with an Afro.
Photo by Dontrius Williams
Williams: “I pay attention to small details while out on the street taking photos.”
Photo by Juan R. Govea

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