FREEDOM blog at

Born black and gay on 5 October 1953 in Southern Maryland which is where I was raised and graduated from Great Mills High School in June 1973 before attending the University of Maryland-College Park from September 1973 through December 1978. Worked for the federal government for 12 years in WDC and NYC. Lived mostly in WDC with the exception of several years in NYC. I have always felt very comfortable and seem to fit more into the NYC scene than I do in WDC. Left the government in 1985 for independent contractor work in the WDC high-end catering industry after having already worked as a part-time independent contractor / caterer since October 1982.

Been photographing, seriously, since January 1992.

While my intent is to capture moments in time that can not ever be again, regarding my photography more as documentary ... and while reporting on issues of the day and historic events of our times, including protests, rallies and vigils my work sheds light on my personal story, as well.

You will also find my work at Ipernity at

Photos of Elvert Barnes (97)

Elvert Barnes' favorite photos from other Flickr members (32,950)

Following (1,174)

See more...

Groups (5050)

Show more... Show fewer...

Testimonials (11)

  • view profile

    daveinshaw says:

    "If you wanted to know about life in Washington, DC over the last 10 years or so, there are few better insights anywhere than looking at the photographic posts of Elvert Barnes. He literally seems to be everywhere! I am continually awed by his dedication and the quality of his documentary photography. Simply fantastic!"

    28th November, 2013

  • view profile

    RW ©™ says:

    "I admire Elvert's street photography. His candid shots of everyday urban life in DC consistently intrigue me. I also can't thank him enough for the support he's given as I continue to grow as a photographer. He's definitely one of the good guys on Flickr."

    4th August, 2008

  • view profile

    SignFire says:

    "ElvertBarnes has a way of capturing human moments.
    When we look at his photos, we see what was previously thought to be the mudane activity of everyday life with renewed reverence and interest."

    21st March, 2008

  • view profile

    rampman9 says:

    "Elvert- Congratulations on fifty thousand plus photos on your site. Your flickr site would be an interesting study for one who studies current American culture. Your photos, whether capturing something significant or ordinary, are an interesting chronicle of the places you are at - NYC, DC, Florida, or wherever. The simple things in life can be most revealing, to the observant eye."

    21st February, 2008

  • view profile

    Essentialarity says:

    "This also is my first testimonial, and maybe my only one. My partner and I had the good fortune to meet Elvert on a sunny Sunday afternoon on the steps of the Old Post Office in DC, A childhood friend from Houston was visiting and we were roaming around downtown DC. While soaking in the sights on Pennsylvania Avenue, Elvert came bounding toward us with camera in hand. He circled around Bruce and me and quickly asked if he could take our pictures for an essay on tattoes. Flattered, we agreed, and Elvert fired off 8 or so shots, and was off. As he strolled away, he said in passing that we could see the pictures on Flickr, if that was ok. We agreed. That night I made my first visit to Flickr and was far more intrigued by the body of Elvert's work than by the honor of being one of his subjects.

    I quickly got up to speed on this man and grasped who he was -- everyman's chronicler of street life in the nation's capitol. One can easily see how poignantly he paints the colorful human life of DC. He has an uncanny ability to capture that which is both strikingly common and at the same time, unique, about the pulse of L'Enfant's and Washington's city.

    Elvert showed me how to love DC in ways I had not over my 15 years as a resident. And after relocating to Seattle, his pictures remain my most treasured way to recall the glory of DC. Thanks, Elvert!"

    3rd October, 2006

  • view profile

    jimeli1 says:

    "I never immeadiately write a testimonial aboutanyone.This is the first time, but I am so awed by this artist....

    Well I can say how fortunate I am to come across Elvert Barnes website here at I have been gazing thorugh his sets and he is somehow for me, a Pop artist 21st century, of the ordinary day by day of life and of the world... I love this man's prolific collections.So impressive. Inspires me to get back onto the scene of documentary as art impression. There is so much to see here that it will take me several weeks to really study and absorb and feel his works and by then a whole new slew of imagery will have been acquired..
    I am wondering if the world can really see the genius of Alvert and his messages? He is one of my favourites here. Thank you Alvert for putting me on your contact list......."

    23rd July, 2006

  • view profile

    John Fulton says:

    "I love the way Elvert captures people doing the ordinary. I've always enjoyed "people watching" and I feel like I am doing that from afar when checking out his latest postings. I have been to Dupont Circle before in person, but it feels like a regular haunt of mine via Elvert's lens."

    18th May, 2006

  • view profile

    sam j rollo says:

    "Elvert is most likely the finest producers of "street documentary" working on Flickr today. he is surely one of the more proficient and ever diligent in his pursuit of the goings on about WDC.
    thanks for some very interesting and entertaining insights into the nations' capitol."

    16th March, 2006

  • view profile

    Ron Hard C says:

    "Besides his very striking photography, Elvert is a very kind and generous man who goes out of his way for virtual strangers. He spent time making me a DVD which involved material that was very timely and of great personal importance to him and to his own life. This is a true gentleman and I'm lucky that he has shared himself with me."

    19th February, 2006

  • view profile

    JimboJames says:

    "this guy is one of the most dedicated photographers uploading on flicker. He has an amazing collection of every subject of the sun. Highly recommended.
    jimbo James."

    2nd January, 2006

  • view profile

    Thzami Gamour Rinpoche says:

    ""We proudly announce that all your projects are protected by us with the allowance of HH the 14th. Dalai Lama. You can always count on the support of ours in a metaphysical, psyhical and physical way.
    Welcome on the board...

    Ohm Mani Pad Me Hum
    Ohm Mani Pad Me Hum
    Ohm Mani Pad Me Hum

    1st. Kashgapa Thzami Gamour Rinpoche
    17th. Karmapa Trinlay Thaye Dorje"

    22nd August, 2005

Elvert Barnes
April 2005
Lexington Park, MD
Hyattsville MD, USA
I am:
Male and Taken
Elvert Xavier Barnes Projections