James Fassinger has spent most of his 23 years in photography walking the streets of big cities and small towns photographing the interesting and often overlooked lives of ordinary people and the places that surround them. These scenes, whether humorous, mundane, romantic or tragic, lend themselves to the most important aspect of his work – to capture images that reflect the emotion and humanity in all of us in the places we work, play, live and love.
After obtaining his B.A. in Journalism from Central Michigan University, Fassinger gained most of his early photography experience at newspapers in the U.S. before traveling to Prague in 1992. There, he worked as staff photographer and photo editor for Prognosis, the first English-language newspaper of the Czech and Slovak Republics and after, as a freelance photographer in the region.
Many of his images, taken from assignment work during his many years in Central Europe, capture the unbridled sense of excitement, intrigue and wild abandon of the era, framed in the timeless beauty that region holds. They remind us of an earlier time when black and white photography was celebrated in great, large-format publications and photographers concentrated on not only telling a story with their images but crafting them in a precise, artistic manner.
In 2008 James returned with his family to the US where he now lives in the Detroit area. He photographs assignment work throughout the United States and continuing his passion for documenting social change sparked by his years photographing abroad, his focus has turned to highlighting social and environmental change and the movements that encompass both these controversial issues. He is now working on a long-term project to document dissent in America.
Fassinger is a freelance contributor to The Guardian, Reuters and The Detroit Free Press. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London, The Daily, The European, The National newspaper, the Czech Lidove Noviny and El Pais of Spain. Limited editions of his hand-printed silver gelatin prints can also be found in collections throughout the United States and Europe.
Berkley, Michigan, USA