Documenting Black Lives Matter Protests

Here, 67 DC-area photographers help to share the story of Black Lives Matter protests.

David Abizaid

(Instagram: @dabizaid; Flickr)

A demonstrator calms the crowd while federal troops antagonize it. ©David Abizaid

Shirzai Adam

(Instagram: @szboii4 and @dizzzygold; model Instagram: @sherinistan)

©Shirzai Adam

Niels Beck

(Instagram: @nielsnebel)

“WHEN DOES THE OUR AMERICAN DREAM BEGIN?” ©Niels Beck

Jeff Beggs

(Instagram: @thejeffbeggs)

Protestor in a chant of “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” near the White House on May 30, 2020. ©Jeff Beggs

Kay Brandon

(Instagram: @iam.pedestrian)

The Time Is NOW! ©Kay Brandon

Julianne Brienza

(Instagram: @juliannebrienza)

©Julianne Brienza

Mark D. Caicedo

(Instagram: @setlistthief and @anothersetlistthief. Flickr)

“End White Silence”. Trump’s Wall, Black Lives Matter Plaza, Washington, DC, June 2, 2020 . Walls will eventually fall, and while some are built of spite, others inspire hope. ©Mark D. Caicedo

Tomas Castella

(Instagram: @tcdcphoto)

No Justice, No Peace – June 6, 2020. ©Tomas Castella

Chris Chern

(Instagram: @wwwchris)

Protesters hurled fireworks at law enforcement and military personnel protecting Lafayette Park north of the White House. ©Chris Chern

Asif Chowdhury

(Instagram: @a.c.bya; Flickr)

“I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.” — Malcolm X ©Asif Chowdhury

Eric Clifton

(Instagram: @EVC567)

This photo was taken on Black Lives Matter Plaza looking towards the White House on June 6th. I think the windows of the White House make it seem like Trump is looking out. ©Eric Clifton

Bob Connolly

(Instagram:  @bc_nola)

The Lincoln Memorial a week apart: 5/30 and 6/6

©Bob Connolly

Danielle Cravatta

(Instagram: @yellski)

Street dance party of protestors. ©Danielle Cravatta

Doug Davies

(Instagram: @dougilis)

Footsteps – Taken Saturday 6/6 at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with a crowd yearning to fill the shoes of the great men that made this place a bastion of hope against the perils and plague of racism in America. ©Doug Davies

Becky Davis

(Instagram @becky.davis22; Website)

DC native and America’s Got Talent @malik.dope drummer street performs at the #blacklivesmatterDC protest at Black Lives Matter Plaza on June 6. ©Becky Davis

Patricia Delgadillo

(Instagram: @patriciazd)

I was captivated by this young woman who was tentatively listening to a speaker passionately plea for change and justice. This is the time to speak and the time to listen. ©Patricia Delgadillo

Leo Delgado

(Instagram: @leodelgadoacts)

Biker, Nicky Sundt, rides down Pennsylvania Ave. with her protest sign. ©Leo Delgado

Ben Eisendrath

(Instagram: @insomnigraphic; Website)

The march Saturday began at the Lincoln Memorial. But before it became motion, speakers on the steps passed the bullhorn to each other. Stories, songs, and poems were shared.

What hit home hardest to THIS observer was the relaying of ‘the talk’. And not the birds-and-the-bees talk. 

The TALK that they got at around 11 years old. About what they would face growing up that white people would not. What *I* did not. The telling was genuine, emotional, and of course to me, foreign. It was relayed by people who sounded like they’d never shared the experience with those of another race. But they shared it with us.

Then we prayed. Touching the shoulder of a stranger.

©Ben Eisendrath

Seth Erves

(Instagram: @serves__)

This photo was taken at a BLM protest in Stafford Va., on 5/31/20. Protestor faces a line of Stafford County Sheriffs. ©Seth Erves

Dylan Fan

(Instagram: @dyfaphoto; Website; YouTube)
A young boy selling cold water in grocery carts on Pennsylvania Ave. yells in frustration that no one is buying his water. You can feel his energy and hear the loudness of his cry, which reminded me of the fervor of protesters chanting through the fences at Lafayette Square. There is an aspect of hopelessness and desperation I felt in the kid’s gesture, which echoed in the protesters who seem to yell into the wind, being ignored as nothing more than a passing voice by our government.

Do You Hear Us? ©Dylan Fan

Joe Ferrante

(Instagram: @ferrantejm)
The size of the person does not determine the size of their voice, and this person’s voice is huge. This is a brief moment where she rested, catching her breath, and prepared to lead the crowd again. Documenting the protests over the last few weeks has shown me that this cause is not just anger and pain or hope and resilience, but all and all at once. I picked this one because it feels like frustration and anger, hope and determination.

Washington, D.C. H St.June 4, 2020. ©Joe Ferrante


Laura Fleischer

Instagram: @lfleischer; Website)

On Monday afternoon, June 8, a march for justice took place from UDC to Woodley Park on Connecticut Ave.  I’ve attended most of the protest marches held in DC over the past 3.5 years, but due to the pandemic I opted to stay at home during the large gatherings. I live on Connecticut Ave. and when I learned of this march, I was finally able to join in the protest (for a block-long walk), capturing a few moments along the way.

©Laura Fleischer

Joe Flood

(Instagram: @joeflood)
This photo from Saturday’s protest struck me as completely surreal. If I saw this a year ago, I’d think it was a still from a Idiocracy. So much happening here — the Treasury Department is covered in graffiti and protected by a fence, concrete barriers, and guards. And here comes a pedicab carrying masked protesters. Looking at this photo, you wonder what happened to America.

©Joe Flood

Gina Genis

(Gina’s website)
An unknown branch of Special Police formed a line to prevent peaceful protesters from advancing into a blocked off area of downtown. An outside agitator walked the line, very close to their faces screaming profanities, and trying to provoke violence. Fortunately neither the Special Police nor the protestors took the bait.

©Gina Genis

Aurelia Glenn

(Instagram: @glennaurelia)

Protest by Paint. ©Aurelia Glenn

Rick Gonzalez

(Instagram: @Ricktube.me)

Armed men watch as thousands of protestors yell “No Justice; No Peace” on their way to the White House. ©Rick Gonzalez

Austin Graff

Instagram: @austinkgraff

D.C.’s mayor unveiled a two-block long mural on the street leading to the White House that reads “Black Lives Matter”. This street is where protests continue through the weekend demanding systemic change. ©Austin Graff

Glenn Hall

(Instagram: @gavin_stone_camera)

“Can’t you see I got my hands up?” ©Glenn Hall

Cassandra Hetherington

(Instagram: @cassandrahetherington

Every single one of us has a role to play in dismantling racism. ©Cassandra Hetherington

Micheal Hill Sr.

(Instagram: @Propheticimagery)

Group from a local church praying and singing songs as they protest and plead for change and justice. ©Micheal Hill Sr.

Larry L. Holmes

(Instagram: @Onehomes4u)

“Black Lives Matter March”, June 4th 2020 in Alexandria, Virginia. ©Larry L. Holmes


Rafeed Hussain

(Instagram: @rafeedhussain; Twitter)

The day’s protest at the newly christened “Black Lives Matter Plaza” in front of the newly fenced off White House was a beautiful example of peaceful protesting that encompassed singing, dancing, laughing, crying, and remembering.

Please consider signing up for the Justice for Breonna Taylor Petition. She was an award winning EMT and worked at TWO hospitals as an essential employee during the pandemic. About a month ago, Louisville cops performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home. Not a single officer announced himself before ramming down the door before firing 22 shots, shooting Breonna 8 times, killing her.  Not only were police at the WRONG HOUSE, but the guy they were looking for was already arrested earlier that day.  The cops who murdered her STILL haven’t been charged with anything. This photo was captured on what would’ve been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday.

©Rafeed Hussain

Danielle Jefferson

(Instagram: @theddtincproduction)

©Danielle Jefferson

Kaitlin Jencso

(Instagram: @kaitlinjencso; Website)

Protesters kneel in a moment of silence in memory of George Floyd in Lafayette Square on June 6, 2020. ©Kaitlin Jencso

Steven Johnson

Instagram: @steviejrphotography. Website https://steviejrphoto.000webhostapp.com/

8 minutes of silence for Floyd ©Steven Johnson

Erin Kelly

(Instagram: @ekelly80)

Seen during the June 6th Black Lives Matter protest and march from Malcolm X Park to the White House. ©Erin Kelly

Tae Kim

(Instagram: @cosmotographer; Website)

It will take more than a pandemic and police brutality to stop people of all colors to join hands and fight racism. ©Tae Kim

Paul Lagoy

©Paul Lagoy

Mike Landsman

(Instagram: @Landsmanphotoworks; Website)

Protester stands above the marchers on the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza on June 6, 2020. ©Mike Landsman

Travis Lee

(Instagram: @TravisLeesWorld)

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” – Malcolm X. ©Travis Lee

Morgan Louie

(Morgan’s 500px site)

©Morgan Louie

Ryan Madison

(Instagram: @ryanmadisonnn; Website)

A man cooks bacon in a pan over a fire started by protesters on H Street. ©Ryan Madison

John Marciano

(Instagram: @thelatergrammar)
Police were shooting tear gas balls at the crowd with its hands up. The excuse the police used was they were being hit with “projectiles.” The projectiles were empty water bottles thrown by a few white agitators, who were shouted down by real protesters.

Protesters undeterred by tear gas outside the White House. Taken Sunday, May 31. ©John Marciano

Mario Martin-Alciati

(Instagram: @MarioMartinFotos)
I believe a lot of photos speak for themselves and this is one. It was taken at a peaceful march that was almost all families including infants, children, teenagers and parents. Here, a recent father marches with his two young children in a stroller, one sitting stern and upright, holding a sign that says “I’m black and I’m proud.” The father, holding a sign that says “I am not a threat.”

©Mario Martin-Alciati

Ness Mehai

(Instagram: @dmv.365)

Black & Proud. ©Ness Mehai

Keith Mellnick

(Instagram: @keithmellnick)

A Freedom Fighters DC representative stands proud amid a sea of protesters lying face down in front of the Capitol building for eight-minutes, forty-six seconds of silence. June 3, 2020. ©Keith Mellnick


Ellie Merritt

(Instagram: @emerritt4)

©Ellie Merritt

Rachel Spicknall Mulford

(Instagram: @ramullspicemullra)

Evening of Sunday June 7th at the US Capitol. It was my only day at the protests. As a small crowd stood at the fence facing the Capitol Police, after the call and response from the protest leaders stopped, there was a poignant calm and then some conversations (mostly one sided) between protesters and the police. I kept thinking with sorrow about the contrast with events during the prior week. I felt a little awkward about asking if I could take someone’s photo but also encouraged because several people had taken photos of my sign that day.  And I had to capture that sunset light!  The signs by @_tshantell and @jeanicereed spoke to me personally. Glad I asked them and nabbed a photo.

©Rachel Spicknall Mulford 

Angela Napili

White House, May 31. ©Angela Napili

Steve Nunez

(Instagram: @steve_nunez_creative, Website)

Black Lives Matter Plaza outside the White House on 5/31. ©Steve Nunez

Giselle Palma

(Instagram: @therealgigi13)

An angry protester paces back and forth in front of the National Guard and Military Police, voicing out his anger at their presence. ©Giselle Palma

Kelly Paras

(Instagram: @flipflopcaravan)

As protests grew, members of the National Guard stood sentry over the monuments of The National Mall. Early morning light at the Lincoln Memorial cast one of their shadows over the location of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech. ©Kelly Paras

Mashaba Rashid

(Instagram: @mashaba)

If you’re seeing this, it’s a reminder to do your part to be anti-racist because being “not racist” isn’t enough. Go protest, donate, have conversations! ©Mashaba Rashid

Limmel Robinson

(Instagram: @gottakeepwinning)

Keep the Message Clear – Overnight, just hours after DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Black Lives Matter mural was painted on 16th St., someone spray painted the words ‘not good enough’. A crew was sent early the next day to pressure wash the words away before the massive crowd of protesters arrived. ©Limmel Robinson

Daniel Scott Ruben

(Instagram: @dsrubenphotography; Website)
I saw this man in the crowd at the White House, Friday, June 5, at about 6:00pm. A recording of a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech was being broadcast over loud speakers along Black Lives Matter Plaza. As I was working my way through the crowd, my eyes saw the struggle of a young man, wildly displaying proud colors of our nation, yet torn by the truths that lay before him—prejudice. I held my lens and directed it towards him. He expressed emotions through body language and his eyes spoke fiercely. So much emotion pouring out of this young, proud man. I am grateful to have been able to capture this special moment.

Pride and Prejudice. ©Daniel Scott Ruben

Amir Saber

(Instagram: @idealports)

©Amir Saber

Jas Sanchez

(Instagram: @jsanchphoto_analog, @jsnchzphoto; Facebook; Website)

June 2: On H St. and Vermont, a line of police officers form a barricade corralling in protestors in front of Lafayette Square. The crowd of protestors have been yelling a variety of statements at officers. These officers react when a protestor calls out the officer in the middle for smiling/smirking at what another protestor was yelling. Officer on the right side of the image warns the protestor not to provoke.

©Jas Sanchez

Sofia Sebastian

(Instagram: @fedora357)

Lafayette Square, Washington DC. I took this picture a few minutes before the police removed peaceful protesters using force on Monday June 1st. ©Sofia Sebastian

Jeremy Thompson

(Instagram: @JeremySThompson)

A protestor sits on the shoulders of a friend as she addresses the crowd outside the White House. ©Jeremy Thompson

Kyle Tsui

(Instagram: @photosbykyle_dc)
As a society, we tend to showcase protesters with witty signs and catchy chants. But people of all stripes are upset by how our society is treating people. This man believed in simply holding up a sign with a straightforward message. In this picture, I tried to capture his quiet strength.

©Kyle Tsui

Arpita Upadhyaya

(Instagram: @arpixa; Flickr)

I took this photo during a peaceful march from the Washington monument to Lincoln memorial for a vigil in memory of George Floyd. While the monument appears to dominate, the crowd of people gathered at its base give a sense of collective strength and optimism. The many moments of peace and resilience have dominated the protests in the city in spite of some unrest. It has been very inspiring to see the energy and spirit at these protests, with a large number of people out on the streets, of all colors and ages to fight for racial justice and change, and hoping for a brighter future.

©Arpita Upadhyaya

Elanor Wainscott

(Instagram: @ellieanne81; Elanor Wainscott Photography)

Protest held in the Harris Teeter parking lot in Olney, MD on Sunday, June 7, 2020. ©Elanor Wainscott

Molly Ward

(Instagram: @plansornoplans)
We live on a helicopter path and frequently hear them outside our apartment, but the sound this one made coming over our roof was the loudest I’ve ever heard, like it could have torn the roof off our building. It was scary, especially when I saw how many people were armed on board.

©Molly Ward

Sabrina Watkins

Instagram: @SabrinaWatkins

“It was built this way” – demonstration in Old Town Leesburg. ©Sabrina Watkins

Angie White

(Instagram: @awphotos84_)

This picture depicts demonstrators on Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington D.C., with signs on the boarded up building supporting the protest. ©Angie White

Chantale Wong

(Instagram: @chantale1; Website)
Photo taken Saturday June 6 in Black Lives Matter Plaza, where thousands of people come together to march against racial injustice and the continued senseless killing of George Floyd and many thousands of black people suffered at the hands of police brutality. It is indeed an inflection point in our nation’s history where marches like this in our Nation’s Capital, are not only happening in hundreds of cities all over the US but also in Sweden, England, Japan, Brazil, Spain, Senegal, Denmark, Scotland, South Korea, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Australia, Poland, Turkey, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Canada, and Germany.

I Wake Up Black. ©Chantale Wong

Michael Zhang

(Instagram: @mikeindmv)

A protester throws a tear gas canister back at the police as they advance to disperse the crowd on Sat. 5/30/20. ©Michael Zhang

We so much appreciate the work of local photographers in documenting this historic event. If you want to see more, we’ve published some of the events we saw in week 1 and week 2 of the protests.

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