What is at the core of my work is, in essence, mediation on being a human being.

I have always been intrigued by people’s faces and the way they say so much to me.  Through their eyes shows the light of humanity. By chance, my first project when I started my career in photographic art in 2008 focused on black America. Previously, my art had been in the ceramics medium.  Like Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment capturing candid emotions in the moment, I work through instinct and spontaneity with people I have met.  

For the “Open Your Archival” call, I have purposely made this submission with the portraits of Black Americans in celebration of BLACK HISTORY MONTH.  Many of them have not been seen or published from my work before. The image, “Harlem”, has been selected by juror Elizabeth Avedon in this significant time of celebration.    

It has been over 150 years since slavery ended in the United States. Since then, there have been many people leading movements and overcoming adversities to continue the fight against racism. While there has been much progress in the way of civil rights, equal opportunity, and reduced discrimination, it is easy to forget the individuals who broke out of societal norms and the challenges they faced during their journeys up to the present.

-Sandra Chen Weinstein


Sandra is self-taught and inspired by Sebastião Salgado and Magnum Photos. Sandra’s work focuses on photography emphasizing human condition in social identity, culture, diversity. She has dedicated long-term projects on women, LGBTQI, minorities, and American pop culture. Sandra’s passion for photography was informed by her previous work for the Foreign Service that allowed her the opportunity to live in many countries.  Sandra has received numerous distinguished awards including: CENTER Director Choice’s Award First Place, National Geographic Magazine International contest winner for People & Reader’s Collection. 1st Prize Open Category Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards, 1st Place Prize Winner of Robert Cornelius Portrait Award, Runner-Up for International Conservation Award in Culture, Deepest Perspective for IPA, 1st place Sport on PX3, The Julia Margaret Cameron Awards and more. Her work has exhibited in Aperture gallery NYC, Annenberg Space of Photography, Asian Art Museum,  Griffin Museum, Florida Museum of Photography etc., and internationally. Her work is in several private and public collections including Gordon Parks Foundation.

Sandra is a longtime supporter of philanthropic organizations such as Art for AIDS, Black Live Matters, Olive Tree Initiative for Arab-Israeli peace, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), American Society for the prevention of cruelty of Animal (ASPCA), National Trust for Historic Preservation

I use Nikon D700, D850 with Nikko lenses. Hand Held shooting. All prints are printed by me to collectors, museum, galleries and portfolio reviews.

Sandra Chen Weinstein