What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “Pittsburgh”? Passionate sports fans? Yinzers? Sandwiches with French fries? Style?
You may be skeptical of my last suggestion, and up until five years ago I would have been too. That’s before I decided to photograph and document the people of Pittsburgh on Keep Pittsburgh Dope, my Instagram page, which has since gained a following of over 19,000 people. Through this street photography, I became “woke” to all of the overlooked style and diversity that can be found roaming the Steel City.
Our city is praised for welcoming driverless cars, cultivating a young new food scene and being one of the most livable places in the country. Yet we can’t seem to shake the stigma that our style isn’t keeping up (just ask GQ). But I’ve learned, firsthand, that’s simply not the case.
As a street style photographer in Pittsburgh, I have the freedom to capture the style I admire, and let me tell you, there’s plenty. But unlike other cities, where style is so expected, in Pittsburgh we have to prove ourselves. We have to prove that as a city, we are more than just Antonio Brown jerseys and mismatched outfits, and that we really do take pride in our personal aesthetics.
That’s why I feel a responsibility to showcase that style in a public way. Of course we take pride in the things that have always defined our city, but it’s important for the new generation to know we have more to offer, so they too can take pride in PGH.