A Photographer’s Mission: Showing Detroit From a Fresh Perspective

There’s no denying it: Detroit is a city in the middle of a transformation. New economic growth, including the exploding startup scene, is revitalizing the city and bringing it national attention as a place to live, work and visit. But there are still a lot of people who don’t see the beauty in Detroit. And that’s something Michigan photographer Zachery Elwart is on a mission to change.

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Zach moved to Detroit from Allen Park six years ago and quickly fell in love with his new home. He made it his goal to show a completely different side of the city, one that doesn’t get a lot of attention. “People outside of Detroit have a sense there isn’t much to do or see here,” he says. “There are places that are rough, but if you get closer you’ll end up feeling wowed by how cool it is.”

Aside from the beautiful cityscapes, Zach’s photos reflect his daily interactions with the people of Motor City. “Every time I walk out my door, I can go to the same area and meet completely different people—I get so inspired by talking to them,” Zach says. “I hear their perspective and the way they talk about Detroit and it makes me proud because they feel the same way I do about it.” They all share the same neighborhoods and communities, but have diverse experiences seeing the city make its comeback.

When Zach isn’t busy snapping the world (he’s photographed in places as far as Africa and Asia), he’s working toward developing new projects with Detroit’s small business community. He hopes his photographs give them a platform to share their unique story, and show how the city as a whole is positively reinventing itself.

Click through the slideshow to check out Zach’s unique take on Detroit. To see what Zach Elwart is up to now, keep tabs on his personal photography website. You can also follow him on Instagram and subscribe to his YouTube channel.

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