At 15, Shabazz began taking photos of his community and of Brooklyn. He is known for documenting the raise of hip hop fashion, street life, graffiti and culture during the 1980s. Shabazz has been featured in many exhibitions around the country and the world. He is also an author of several books including, A Time Before Crack released in 2005.
Ball might be consider one of the first Black photographers in history. He was born free and learned daguerreotype photography from another freeman. Ball moved all over the USA to establish his career. He was an abolitionist and businessman in addition to being a photographer. Some of the famous subjects he shot included P.T. Barnum, Charles Dickens, Frederick Douglas, the family of Ulysses S. Grant and Queen Victoria.