Scrolling through Jeremiah Roundtree’s Instagram that has newly graced the social media platform, I immediately get the feeling that I am a voyeur of an extreme talent. The items selected for photography aren’t of things that outside of a normal person’s grasp or line of sight; however, the beauty that is captured in these ordinary things through Jeremiah’s Samsung phone and via editing makes me feel like I haven’t seeing the world exactly right.
Recently, during a phone conversation with Jeremiah, we discussed his photography. This is what he had to say about his vision, “I look at things differently. Everyone else will be walking somewhere, and they leave me behind because I am taking pictures of any and everything everywhere. There wasn’t anything that necessarily brought me to [photography]. It has always just been like that. In an unedited sunset or a bridge, I’ll see the potential that I can have through editing and know that I can make it dope.” Jeremiah’s creative disposition takes his work another level.
When asked about other areas of creation that he is interested in, Roundtree shares that when he was younger that he thought that he was interested in theater, but stage-fright made him reconsider whether acting was something that he actually wanted to do. “I’m strictly photography. It’s right for me because I can take what I want to take and I can do whatever I want with the pictures I do take through editing.” In his craft, Jeremiah is able to put forth a piece art that belongs both to the world in which we all exist while simultaneously constructing a world that is solely his via editing.
In his IG portfolio, Jeremiah has many images of graffiti from the Miami area. The editing that has been done on these pieces is other worldly. There is a pink in one that made me feel like my soul had just seen world peace forever. “With graffiti you don’t know who created these beautiful murals. They don’t get credit for it, and it is just—– beautiful. Even the whole nature of it. It’s like you’re a rebel rebelling and you create this art, and I don’t think it’s a crime! I think it’s gorgeous.”
Roundtree describes his creative process as not being perfect every time, but he takes as many pictures as possible to practice in perfecting his craft. He shares, “I take pictures of things I see potential in, but I also take many photos of things that I don’t see potential in to exercise my creative freedom. I want to edit my pictures so that they are not the same. You’ll see photography accounts where they’ll all use the same filter or shade of brown, but every moment and every frame is a new space to create. A picture is not always just taken, sometimes it is created.”
When speaking about how his photography aligns with other IG photog pages, he further explains his philosophy on creation, “You should not edit an abandoned hospital the same way you would edit a sunset, just to keep your Instagram feed cohesive. I feel that’s limiting. You need to experiment with different editing styles because that’s how you are going to improve.” One of the things that drew me to this body of work is that there was such a diversity in color. Some of the colors were so bold that it is like peeking into someone’s dream.
I happily found out that Jeremiah and I have something in common. “I’m a Gemini; number one, we’re two sided. You get the light and you get the darkness, but I feel that I have more than just two sides, which is why my style has such range. I need to see vibrance. I need to see darkness. I need to see the black and whiteness of very urban pictures.”
It was refreshing to have this conversation with someone as open as Jeremiah Roundtree. He is an inspiration and his photography is visual poetry. Check out his IG account to see for yourself.