Denise Allen

 "I am a documentary photographer talking back to a world that often dictates how one should think, feel and exist.  My projects are collaboration between me and my subjects.  I elevate and honor the people in my photographs, shining a loving light on stigmatized bodies and lives.  I enlist the viewer as a witness, as someone who might speak up."  

Denise is a single mother, Art and Social Change Documentary photographer and an Art Teacher.  Years ago, she use to describe herself as a Photographer. Today her life has come full circle and she considers herself to be an Art and Social Change Photographer that advocates, documents and celebrates children and diversity.   

Upon graduation from Columbia College, Denise started her photography career in Chicago as a catalog photographer and quickly moved to New York as a freelance photographer.  Fortunately she did not have to wait long to receive catalog and editorial work and became emerged in the Fashion Industry quickly.  The unfortunate part of this experience was the outbreak of the AIDS Virus when she experienced the death of so many talented and creative people.  Denise was devastated and felt her photography was frivolous.   She decided to do something that could give her life more meaning so she went back to school to receive a Masters degree in art education.               




Denise has worked as an art teacher for 26 years. During this time she developed mentoring and leadership programs for African-American children. She continued with her photography but it lacked direction.

Denise believes that we are living in a moment where another epidemic is striking and so many of our bright future stars are being killed physically, mentally and spiritually.  This time the epidemic is affecting our youth and Denise realizes that she does have a voice and can do something.  The difference between then and now is that she knows how to use her voice and that her photography is not frivolous.  Denise documents and preserves history for families and future generations.  She uses her photography as her tool, her weapon, and PART OF THE SOLUTION!