David Christopher Orrell


David Christopher Orrell (b. 1992) is a self-taught fine art photographer born and raised in Newark, NJ, with a discipline in portrait and documentary photography; his work is influenced by community, fashion, and black culture. Growing up in Newark and utilizing his experience as a black queer, Orrell’s creative objective is simply to reflect concern for truth and beauty in the world. Orrell’s very deliberate and subtle use of light and color creates intimate atmospheres of mystery, leading to a rich intensity between the lens and his subjects. By capturing quiet moments of glamour and sonder anchored in realism, Orrell’s body of work encompasses the reality of his growth as he seeks both his individual and cultural identity within the medium.

During his time in college, Orrell developed a strong affinity for storytelling, leading him to pursue a career in film and television. Graduating from Fairleigh Dickenson University with a BA and MA in Mass Media Communication in 2015, Orrell began his career as a production studio professional, working for studios like Marvel Entertainment, NBCUniversal, and FX Network. It was during this time that Orrell discovered his artistic calling for photography. What started as a hobby, photographing colleagues, family, and friends, soon became a search for truth and understanding in his surroundings. Working with vintage cameras and film, Orrell managed to teach himself photography against the backdrop of Newark.

Selected Works