Debbie Fleming Caffery is a black and white photographer and Guggenheim fellow whose quiet documentary images bring an ethereal beauty to the world around her. Her subjects range from Mexican prostitutes to victims of Hurricane Katrina, and fill four books: Carry Me Home, The Shadows, Polly, and The Spirit of the Flesh.
Cafferey grew up in Southern Louisiana and received a Bachelor’s Degree from the San Francisco Art Institute. For her 1990 book, Carry Me Home, the artists returned to Louisiana to photograph landscapes and people from her childhood. She continues to photograph communities in rural Louisiana, and has also photographed subjects in Portugal, Northeast Mexico, and Baton Rouge, when she was hired by People Magazine to photograph survivors of Hurricane Katrina. She says, “My search in photography has been a process of refining my response to the mystery of life.”
Caffery’s work is featured in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum, MoMA, and the Smithsonian Institute among others. In addition to the Guggenheim fellowship, she was also awarded the Governor of Louisiana Art Award in 1989.