In the summer of 1967, Photography and Imaging alumna and pioneering commercial photographer Barbara DuMetz, then 20, took her new Kodak Instamatic—a gift from her dentist father—and walked through her Detroit neighborhood, photographing houses and beauty salons burned during the uprising there a few days earlier. African-American residents had clashed with police to protest deep-seated racism, economic disparity and police brutality.
“I used that camera to start photographing life before I knew I would become a photographer,” says DuMetz by phone from her home in Atlanta, Georgia, where she retired eight years ago.
Starting in the early ‘70s, DuMetz ran her own advertising photography business in Southern California for more than 40 years. She’s known for her photos of African-American actors, musicians, visual artists and luminaries such as Maya Angelou, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Miles Davis, Pam Grier, Rosa Parks, Betye Saar and Charles White, as well as groundbreaking national ads depicting African Americans for brands such as Kraft, Coca-Cola, Delta, Nestle and McDonald’s.