Sunday, December 21, 2014

Joshua Yospyn's Red Beret Project

Joshua Yospyn was born in suburban Cleveland, raised outside Detroit and went to college at the University of Dayton, where he majored in business.  In 1999 he moved to Washington, D.C. and bounced around several jobs doing website design while learning photography, and started freelancing part-time for the Washington Post and MSNBC.  
He still freelances for the Post and various non-profits; is a member of the STRATA street photography collective; and in May of 2014  was hired to teach photography on behalf of the U.S. Embassy in Jordan, where he spent time in Palestinian and Syrian refugee camps.  This summer he also created a multimedia piece on Iraqi refugees in Maine during a workshop at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.  
On Bastille Day in 2009 Yospyn was in search of French maids.  Instead, he found a little 11-year-old girl wearing a red beret, who was out for a stroll with her mother.  After a brief introduction on a street corner near a Belgian restaurant, Anka allowed Yospyn to photograph her child.  He took a few frames, said thank you, and bid them farewell.
They do it again every year.  And always on Bastille Day.  The original close-up portrait, which was taken on medium format Kodak film, was displayed at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado.

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