From the Tour de France to Black Lives Matter protests, Caroline Yang captures moments of determination, loss, and hope
After the unexpected death of her father, Caroline Yang, J95, picked up the camera he left behind and took her first photography class. At the time she was 25 and working as an advertising account executive, and the decision changed the course of her life. “I absolutely fell in love with photography," she says. “For the first time in my life, I felt I had found my place.”
Now a documentary photographer based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Yang regularly works on high-profile assignments for The New York Times, the Washington Post, and other national outlets. She also makes room for her own artistic exploration, most recently by creating multiple exposures as another method for storytelling and self-expression. By overlaying and blending photographs, her images convey the complexities of identity, loss, and hope.
Some of Yang's projects have included photographing the Tour de France, documenting a local ballet company, and covering the social justice movement in the Twin Cities. Brent Lewis, a photo editor at The New York Times and cofounder of Diversify Photo, a group working to bring visibility to photographers of color, admires the compassion Yang brings to her work, especially portraits. “She turns them into collaborative experiences, making sure that the person is being seen in a manner that emphasizes their strength, power, and true self,” he says.
The selected images that follow—with descriptions in Yang’s own words—showcase the range of her work.