If you’re local to Pittsburgh then I’m pretty sure that Chancelor needs no introduction. He’s a bit of a local celebrity in the city – his Instagram project @keeppittsburghdope has over 11 thousand followers, he’s one of the creative minds behind the Creative Drinks (an informal networking event bringing together creatives in the city – the next event is on 4th Feb at Constellation cafe) and he’s involved with marketing and social media projects throughout Pittsburgh. He really is a force to be reckoned with!
Chancelors Instagram project, @keeppittsburghdope, is the best showcase of Pittsburgh’s style that I’ve seen and it’s one of my favorite profiles to follow. The thing I love the most about it is its real. There are no overly styled flat lays, no carefully crafted outfits – it’s a window to the streets of Pittsburgh, and the styles that walk them.
I’d been trying to interview Chancelor for #stylsihpittsburgh for ages but our schedules never aligned, so I was chuffed when he contacted me a few weeks ago to say he was free to meet up! We met at Arnolds Tea in Deutschtown (a great tea shop if you’re into tea by the way – try the Lapsang Suochong!) and sat chatting at the window for ages. I listened to him talk passionately and fondly about Pittsburgh, he truly believes were on the cusp of something huge in the city and that if you want to do something here – to make your mark – then now is the time to do it. He had such a calming and friendly demeanor, and he talked so passionately about Pittsburgh and the possibilities it holds for us, that I left feeling empowered and felt an even bigger sense of pride for Pittsburgh.
In our interview, Chancelor talks about what inspired him to start @keeppittsburghdope, what he thinks to Pittsburgh’s style and how it’s evolved over the years, and he shares some advice for aspiring street-style photographers. It’s an interesting interview, with an inspiring guy!
Firstly, tell me a little bit about yourself and KeepPittsburghDope
My name is Chancelor Humphrey, I’m 27 years old and originally from Aliquippa, PA. I’ve been doing photography for over 3 years now, and started KeepPittsburghDope in 2014. I started KPD simply for my love of photographing people and the love for my street photography idols who inspire me.
A lot of the people I’ve met in Pittsburgh are either natives who have left and come back, or they’ve lived here all their lives. What do you think it is about Pittsburgh that pulls people back or stops them leaving in the first place?
It’s multiple things; the culture, the food, the affordability, the freedom to make dreams real in a unsaturated market, the people, the sports, etc…Pittsburgh has so much to offer, and even more that hasn’t been tapped into.
Your photography is fantastic, you really have an eye for composition and style and you capture the Pittsburgh style perfectly. What inspired you to start documenting our local style and how long have you been doing it?
As stated previously, I started KPD simply for my love of photographing people and my love for my street photography idols who inspire me. Also to make the outside look in, and see there is really a creative movement happening in our city.
You photograph style in the city every day, so I’d love to know what you think to Pittsburgh’s style and how has it evolved over the years.
I love it and take pride in Pittsburgh style. I can’t wait until the world sees what we get to see everyday in our streets. Our style identity is so new here in Pittsburgh, so I can’t even begin to describe how it has evolved. I’ll say this; our style isn’t a evolution…it’s a revolution!
I know you like to focus on the style of others, but I’d love to know more about your own style like what influences it and who inspires you.
I would say refined and relaxed. I like to thrift and I love to layer, so when I find something I sometimes take it to the tailor to give it more of a bespoke feel. So individuals that really inspire my style are; Kid Cudi, Makayla Wray, Scott Schuman, ASAP Rocky, the fellas of Public School, and more.
Where are your favorite place to shop locally?
Goodwill on East Ohio Street, Social Status on Liberty, Highway Robbery, Shop 412
What’s your most treasured item in your closet?
That’s easy! Lol definitely my blue blazer! Found it for $8 at a Salvation Army about 4 years ago, and had it tailored. It’s lasted and still looks like it was made just for me! (Also in a close second is my Brooks Brothers Peacoat that I found for $50 in a Brooklyn thrift store)
And finally, what advice would you give to aspiring street-style photographers?
First, find what lens works for you. Don’t get caught up in having a whole bunch of lenses, accessories, bags, etc…because you think it looks cool. Get comfortable with a lens until you know it’s the one for you and keep shooting with it, the rest will come in time. Second, find your style…what’s going to set you apart from the Pgh photographers and global photographers?
If you’d like to check out the other stylish Pittsburghers I’ve interviewed, and find out more about #stylishpittsburgh campaign then head over here!
And if you’re a local boutique or style-obsessed Pittsburgher and would like to be featured, or maybe you know someone who you think deserves to be featured? Get in touch!!