Erin Douglas is an experienced travel and lifestyle documentary photographer and founder of Black Burner Project. After years in Finance, Erin discovered her love for traveling on a solo trip to the Philippines, where she has placed travel, culture and photojournalism at the center of her photography practice. Erin strives to capture the essence of life around her and share genuine and authentic stories that move and inspire people to action.
Erin decided to take her passion for photography seriously after a last minute decision to apply for Baltimore's yearly Art Scape Festival and being chosen for the emerging artist grant. She has had her work shown in art shows in New York City, Baltimore, DC and Miami.
Erin created the Black Burner project in 2018 after seeing the need for visual representation, and returning to Burning Man a second year to document people of color -- particularly Black people -- through photography and personal narratives. Her mission: to create a space where Burners of color can be seen as part of the community, create awareness and drive diversity. Erin has curated a word of mouth surprise BIPOC group photo at Burning Man 2 years in a row taking the production from 35 people in 2018 to 250 people in 2019, becoming the largest gathering of people of color in Burning Man history.
Erin continues to create and expand her vision through Black Burner Project and her work outside the project. Her work has been featured in Runners World Mag, The NY Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Essence, The Baltimore Sun, the NY Times listed book "Shut Up and Run", Travel Noire, and Oprah Daily and exhibited in NYC, Miami Art Basel, Washington DC and Baltimore.
“I came up with the idea to create a beautiful catalog of people of color who went to Burning Man in order to inspire more people to step into their curiosity and to create more awareness....This was a project I was nervous to pursue, but it has been a learning experience about my passion for storytelling, inspiring people, visual representation, and inclusivity.”
“My entry into the Burning Man was not planned. It was by way of a gifted ticket and completely trusting the friends who felt I should be there. I wouldn't call my first experience a blast. It was difficult, challenging, scary, and overwhelming. It was also magical, unexplainable, and unique. After posting photos I'd taken I received an influx of questions, comments, DMs, text from people who all seemed to say the same thing. They wanted to know more, or they'd known about Burning Man but never knew black people or BIPOC people went and wanted to know if it was okay for them to go. Because of this, I came up with the idea to create a beautiful catalog of people of color who went to Burning Man, in order to inspire more people to step into their curiosity and to create more awareness. It was a project I wanted to be bigger than an Instagram page. I decided to listen to my gut and felt it was an important mission. As inspiring people to explore and travel fits my mission in my regular photography practice.
I had to submit a proposal. But how I would go about it really didn't get figured out until I got to Burning Man that second year. I approached as many people as I could, told them about my mission and captured them. I would also contact as many people as I could after the event to record interviews about their experiences.
My first year I also decided I wanted to produce a group photo. However the possibility of that seemed unlikely. I went for it anyway, telling as many people as I could a time, place and date. Surprisingly 35 people showed up that Friday 2018 all by word of mouth. It was magical. The project started to take shape, after months of editing, and interviewing, posting, pitching. By 2019 the project had unknowingly become well known in the community. I continued to document people, and decided to create another word of mouth group photo production. Another surprise when close to 300 people showed up for the event in 2019. 2019 through 2021 the project has evolved in ways I never expected and impacted people in ways I only know because they have shared with me and I am completely humbled this small idea I followed has done so. I have much more I'd like to do within the project. It's been much more than just a project to inspire others for me. This was a project I was nervous to pursue, but it has been a learning experience about my passion for storytelling, inspiring people, visual representation, and inclusivity.” - Erin Douglas
2019 Solo Exhibition- Black Burner Project · Towson University , MD
2019 Black Burner Project- Solo Exhibition · Washington , DC
2019 LeMondo Arts Center Opening- Group Exhibition · Baltimore, MD
2018 Art Basel- Group Exhibition - We Work · Miami, FL
2016 My Voice Is My Vanity Art Exhibition · Baltimore, MD
2015 Brown Girl With A Camera Photography Exhibition · WA, DC
2015 Artscape Festival 2015 · Baltimore MD- Awarded 2015 Emerging Artists: Photographer