Lori Hawkins – Belief

Lori Hawkins


This series is a portrait of the Hasidic communities in Brooklyn. After decades of decline, the Jewish population of New York City is growing again, fueled by the explosive growth of the Orthodox Jewish. The neighborhoods of Borough Park, Williamsburg and Crown Heights are home to some of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities outside of Israel. The Hasidim began settling in Brooklyn in large numbers during and just after World War II and took refuge here. Within these communities, there seems to be an extreme sense of stopping time and resisting change; rebuilding and working hard to preserve the old ways.




Lori Hawkins is a freelance photographer based in New York City and has spent several years focusing on Asian issues including the aftermath of the South Asia Earthquake in Pakistan/India, Acid Throwing in Pakistan, and Poverty. Her recent work includes reportage on refugees and coverage of the election protests in Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C. Lori’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, South China Morning Post, Direct Soir, Focus Magazine and New York Magazine. Her photographs have been included in both solo and group exhibitions in New York City and around the U.S.


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Lori Hawkins

9 Responses to “Lori Hawkins – Belief”

  • Love the photographs, Lori. I’m particularly interested in the subject of religion in all its forms and I appreciate the access you have gained into the Hasidic community. I would have liked captions with the photographs (I always do, the more information, the better my understanding of a subject) but that’s just my preference. I hope that you can follow this story long-term, perhaps following a particular family or a group of children into adulthood; that would be something special.

    Great website too, congratulations, Lori.


  • You have an essay titled “Belief” that gives no clue as to what its subjects believe, at least outside the realm of fashion preference. We get a nice photographic eye, but otherwise we are just shown what anyone can see walking around certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Everyone believes something, so a picture of anyone could be titled “Belief.”

    So I agree with Mike R.that some written information would be helpful. What do these people believe? What is the connection between their beliefs and their appearance? Like, what’s with that shtreimel?

    I guess the counter-argument could be that not everyone can walk around Brooklyn, so photography serves a detached purpose of merely showing us sights we wouldn’t otherwise see. But I think we’re past that these days. Photography needs to communicate the invisible as, well as the visible.

  • Nice, I’d really see you go deeper, hopefully you will.

  • Lovely work, excellent access Lori!

  • Thanks for all the feedback. Yep, this is just the beginning of my long-term project… I’m digging my heels in deeper. You’ll see in a few photos, I’m gaining more access to the community, in homes, community centers, etc. Follow along on my journey, via my website, http://www.lorihawkins.com and also instagram: lorimhawk. xoxoxo, Lori

  • I’ve been traveling for awhile and have accessed the net only on my phone. I refuse to do more than glance at the thumbnails of a burn essay on my phone, but a glance is enough to tell me this essay begins with an image of the Frequent School Bus. This fact alone speaks highly of it. I myself have photographed the FSB in the midst of Williamsburg’s Hasidic community,so we have this in common. I predict that one day our Hasidic FSB images will hang side by side in the Louvre. The whole world will marvel. It won’t do any of us either good. We’ll both be dead by then.

  • “Photography needs to communicate the invisible as well as the visible.” How?

  • How to communicate the invisible with photography? When you figure that out, grasshopper, you will have become a master.

  • I enjoyed the photographs, top to bottom. I, too, would have appreciated a little more caption information, but that is just me. The pictures convey information of spirt and heart. Perhaps this is enough.

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