Visual storytelling is my passion, and my purpose. I love telling the stories of people who are passionate in what they do, authentically, with my camera.

Cheriss May is a lauded portrait and editorial photographer based in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, Ca. She is a member of the Board of Directors — Focus on the Story, the immediate past president — Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW), co-chair of photography — The National Press Club, an Adobe Education Leader, and an adjunct professor at Howard University, her Alma Mater. She is often commissioned to speak about inclusive storytelling, and trains and speaks to organizations, and educators around the world, including: Spotify, Adobe, Leica, The Financial Times, the Center for Creative Photography, and the International Center of Photography.

Cheriss has been published in The New York Times, O Magazine, The White House website, People magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, ABC News, The Today Show, and other international publications. She has a traveling exhibit and forthcoming book, "Cheriss May Soul Connection". Cheriss has images in a BET social justice campaign: ‘Content for Change’, and her work is in the permanent collection at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NY. 

Originally from Kansas City, Mo., Cheriss's passion radiates through her aptitude to connect to the soul of those she photographs. She is available for commissions, assignments, and unit stills for TV/film.

“Cheriss May Soul Connection”
— Leica Store Washington, D.C. | May 6 - July 31, 2022
— Leica Store Bellevue (Bellevue, Wa.) | Oct. 24 - Dec. 4, 2021
Leica Gallery (Los Angeles, Ca.) | May 1 - Sept. 6, 2021

“Black Is...”
Montpelier Arts Center Main Gallery | June 11 - August 7, 2022
— Montpelier Arts Center Main Gallery | January 31 - February 28, 2022

“Been Seen”
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - The New York Public Library (Harlem, NY)
— On view at The Schomburg - 2022
— Part of the Photoville 10th Anniversary festival | Sept. 18 - Dec. 1, 2021

“Harriet's Wildest Dreams”
Eaton DC Hotel | Oct. 15 - April 1, 2022

“Eyes on Main Street”
October 21, 2022 – March 25, 2023

October 30, 2021 – March 30, 2022
— 7th Edition International Outdoor Photo Festival (Wilson, N.C.)
— Jeonju Photography Festival, South Korea
— Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival, Malaysia
— Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi, China
“Reaching for Justice”
Full Circle Fine Art Gallery (Baltimore, MD) | June 19-September 4, 2021

“In Conversation: Visual Meditations on Black Masculinity”
African American Museum (Philadelphia, PA.) | Oct 4, 2019 - Permanent Exhibit

FotoWeek DC
Women Photojournalists of Washington’s Annual Juried 2017 Photography Exhibition (Traveling exhibit - various locations) | 2017

 Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - Harlem, NY
— African American Museum - Philadelphia, PA.

Self portrait

• Board of Directors — Focus on the Story
• Immediate Past President (WPOW
• Adobe Education Leader
• Co-chair Photo Committee (NPC
• White House Press Pool
• U.S. Capitol Press Photographers


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