An amateur photographer from Baltimore is being celebrated for his photos taken during the recent demonstrations in the name of Freddie Gray. His images are so touching, in fact, that the 26-year-old’s work is featured on the latest cover of TIME Magazine.
Devin Allen’s photos were first spotted on Instagram and spread from celebrities’ profiles (like Rihanna) to international organizations. The father of one, who has explored photography for three years, says he’s heartened by how his photos are being embraced online. After being circulated earlier this week, his image of a protester running from a huge amount of police was chosen as the cover of TIME.
“For me, who’s from Baltimore city, to be on the cover of TIME Magazine, I don’t even know what to say. I’m speechless,” says Allen. “It’s amazing. It’s life changing for me. It’s inspiring me to go further. It gives me hope and it gives a lot of people around me hope. After my daughter, who’s my pride and joy, this is the best thing that’s happened to me.”
On why he began to take part in the protests, Allen says he’s witnessed injustices in his hometown long before Freddie Gray died at the hands of police officers earlier this month.
“[It’s] not been a surprise,” says Allen. “I know my city. With all the frustration with the city, the mayor, the economy, the pot has been boiling.” But that has not changed Allen’s resolve to show exactly what’s been happening in his streets. “I went in thinking I would show the good, the bad and the ugly,” he says. “Of course, since I’m a black man, I understand the frustration, but at the same time, I’m a photographer. I’m not going to lie to you. I’m going to tell you exactly what happened. That was the goal.”
Many more of Allen’s images have captured national attention, including somber moments between protesters and cops, children marching, and others. You can check them out here.