Photographer Sydney Allen has been shooting pictures for VERSION, a queer and trans dance party that happens monthly at The Crown, since 2018. She’s self-taught but also calls herself community-taught because of the knowledge she’s gained from other photographers. She says that when she’s shooting parties, she’s looking to capture the energy of the event and also the faces of those who attend. 

“I’m mostly just looking for moments that are happening, trying to capture people’s feelings while dancing,” she says. 

All her photos can be found online, on her website and on her Instagram account @_abaltimoregriot_. She also archives all of the photos she captures — even those that never make it to the public. She hopes to start a new site that is just dedicated to images from VERSION. 

“Queer spaces are pretty limited, especially spaces that are rooted in Blackness,” she says. She and the rest of the VERSION team want to raise money to create a book of VERSION images. 

“From my perspective as a documentarian, I definitely want to create something that’s like a physical manifestation of VERSION for people to have and reminisce about. Not just in Baltimore, but in other spaces too.”

A person dances at VERSION.
Credit: Sydney Allen
Credit: Sydney Allen
A person dances at VERSION

Lisa Snowden is Editor-in-Chief and cofounder of Baltimore Beat. Previously, she was an editor at Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore Sun, and The Real News Network. Her work has also appeared in Essence,...