Capturing POC Alt Greatness- An Interview with Photographer Maxine Wallace

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What got you into the love of photography?

I have loved photography for as long as I can remember. As a little kid my parents had stacks on stacks of photo albums and I would drag them out almost daily just to look at them. I did the same to their record collection too! I loved looking at the album art. My grandmother bought me a little digital camera back in 2005, it was the best gift anyone had ever given me and I’ve been shooting ever since. 

Punk Black 8th Anniversary Show


Where did you grow up and how was the culture there?

We moved from the East coast to Indiana when I was seven years old. I grew up in a small conservative town just 30 minutes north of Indianapolis. At the time we were one of maybe 10 Black families there. I don’t think I had another Black kid in the same class as me until the 6th grade. During the mid 2000s, post 9/11,

pro-war evangelical culture was everywhere and it made being different stifling. My dad was very pro-Black and liberal and instilled those values in me young so best believe I was having spirited debates with the kids in my class very frequently.   

What band got you loving alternative music?

The first alternative band I ever loved was Linkin Park. That angsty blend of rock and hip hop spoke to me! 

Is there any band personally you’d like to shoot performing live or even a photo shoot? 

I got a list! The Nova Twins, Paramore, Rage Against the Machine, etc. But honestly I just love shooting. If the energy is there I want to be a part of it! 


Punk Black 8th Anniversary Show

What 5 music artists are in heavy rotation for you? Any genres

Lately it’s been Mirror Lake (who I found thanks to yall!), Mansur Brown (an amazing guitarist from London), Kid Cudi, Beyonce, and Shygirl.  

When did you want to take it further than a hobby?

I knew it was going to be more than a side hustle or hobby by mid 2020. Between covering the Black Lives Matter Protests in my city and getting to shoot for the Wall Street Journal there really was no going back to a regular desk job. So I saved up my money and decided to start freelancing full time in November 2021.

What’s the feeling that you get now, in 2023 that there are so many black & brown alternative people everywhere?

Honestly I am relieved and so excited to see so many of us. I always knew we were out there but the fact that we can come together and be in community together in a way we weren’t before just makes me so happy. I love how easily we can find each other! 


Punk Black 8th Anniversary Show

Any specific cities or countries you’d like to visit and shoot? 

I love what is coming out of London right now and would love to document that scene. Same with NYC. But honestly there is something that’s so cool about documenting Alt POC scenes in the Midwest and the South, we are everywhere! 


How did you hear about Punk Black? And what made you want to check out a show? 

I heard about Punk Black a while ago but once I saw the flier for the show you guys had in November 2022 in Atlanta I had to check it out. It was my birthday and I didn’t have any solid plans so it ended up being the perfect road trip and the rest is history. 


What message do you have for the black & brown alternative kids out there?

LOL I have too much to say but to keep it brief-  Don’t give up, you’re going to find a place where you won’t have to leave any part of yourself at the door. Also chase your dreams, you have those dreams for a reason and you never know who you could meet or how your life could change because you decided to be true to yourself instead of doing what “they” tell you to do. 

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