AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – In the midst pandemics and protest, one local photographer is a mission to help change the narrative regarding the struggles of African American men.

Crystal Smith tells NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Flete that within the last month she found a new love for photography.

“When you are behind the lens you’re able to see things that people don’t always see within themselves.”

From behind a camera lens, Smith’s goal is to celebrate black men and give us a look at their lives from a different perspective.

“So many black men feel as though their lives are not of value in America. They are constantly bombarded with images that show the social injustice.”

The name of her project is “Through Our Eyes.”

“I want us to stand proud. I don’t want us to capitulate. I want us leading and changing the brand of a black man.”

Yannik Mckie is just one of the 33 men from the CSRA involved in the photo shoot.

“Black men are not all criminals. We’re not all negative. Black men are educated. Black men are beautiful. Black men are brilliant,” explains Mckie.

Dante Stewart is also involved in this movement tells me he worries inequality and injustice will never end.

“Everyday I wake up and I have a one-year-old son, almost two, and I got thinking…this is the world he has to live in.”

Smith explains her vision and reason behind the pictures.

“I can see the story behind everybody. Every person has a story and I feel like it’s my job to give other people opportunists to tell their story.”

For more on the “Through Our Eyes” Photo Series Click Here