Local photographer Caldwell Linker is Awesome Pittsburgh’s 10th winner of $1,000. Caldwell’s work is best described through the applications we received over three months:
Recently I put out a book called “the Haus of Haunt: Watch Children” about underground Pittsburgh drag queens (one of whom, Sharon Needles, isn’t so underground any more, June 12th was official Sharon Needles day in Pittsburgh).
I do lots of other really awesome stuff as well. I photograph tons of performers and their performances, and let them use the images for their own publicity for free (most can’t afford to pay for photos yet). I photograph queer weddings for free as a political statement. I document protests and marches and let folks use whatever images they want. I take pictures at parties and benefits and let people use whatever they want for future promotion. I take pictures of people with life altering disabilities and surgeries that they then use to inspire others to overcome similar setbacks and disabilities. I take pictures of people who think they are ugly that show them that they aren’t and make them feel better about themselves. I photograph the artwork of struggling artists to help them promote their work.
I do almost all this for free because I think people deserve good photos, and many of the artists and folks I work with, don’t have the success they are striving for just yet, and can’t afford a photographer.