Photographer Russell K. Frederick was born in 1970 to Panamanian parents in the bustling, multicultural neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn. Pursuing art was Frederick's first choice, until his mother advised him "art is a hobby and you should choose a more practical career." Unfulfilled, Frederick registered at the International Center for Photography to be officially introduced to photography. This was the catalyst for his future endeavors. At this time Frederick befriended the Magnum photographer Eli Reed and then became his protégé. Since then, Frederick has photographed President George W. Bush's 2001 Inauguration, appeared in a host of exhibitions, and collaborated with some of the industry's best. Frederick has been working for the NYC Bureau of the Associated Press since May 2001.
Frederick had his first solo exhibition in January 2004 at the Empire State Building. The exhibition, titled "Virtue," was a visual journey through his native Brooklyn. He has also been included in numerous group exhibitions, including "The National Black Fine Art Show" (Puck Building, New York, February 2005), "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning" (African American Museum in Philadelphia, April 2005), "Framing the Triangle" (Goethe Institute, Accra, Ghana, September 2005), and "Engulfed by Katrina: Photographs Before and After the Storm" (Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, June 2006). His work is published in Black: A Celebration of Culture, edited by Deborah Willis.
In November 2004, Frederick became a member of Kamoinge Inc., whose members include Anthony Barboza, Eli Reed, Jamel Shabazz, and Frank Stewart, among others. The organization was founded in 1963 and has produced a number of collective exhibitions, including, most recently, "From Be-Bop to Hip Hop" (curated by Danny Simmons; Brooklyn Academy of Music, January 2006) and "Life and Times of New Orleans" (Columbia University, January 2006).
Frederick won third place in the 2004 Gordon Parks Annual Photography Contest and served as a panelist at the New York University symposium "Race, Class, Disaster and Hurricane Katrina." Preceding the symposium, Frederick presented a slideshow of post-Katrina photographs he took in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in October 2005; a portion of those photographs were featured online at Pixelpress.org.