Profile: Barbara DuMetz (1947-)

Barbara DuMetz is an American photographer and pioneer in the field of commercial photography. She began working in Los Angeles as a commercial photographer in the 1970s, when very few women had established and maintained successful careers in the field, especially African-American women. Over the course of her career, “she made a major contribution to diversifying the landscape of images that defined pop culture in the United States.”

DuMetz is known for her work with African-American celebrities, corporations, and images of everyday life in African-American communities. She has won three CEBA awards and a LULU award for her commercial photography. Group shows have included her work in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. Retrospectives of her work have appeared at the Carl Van Vechten Gallery at Fisk University in 2014 and at Texas Southern University.

Early life

DuMetz was born in Charleston, West Virginia, the only girl and second of four children to Eustace T. DuMetz, II, DDS and Constance R. (née Brooks). Her grandfather, Eustace DuMetz, was a free-lance photographer who worked for the Pittsburgh Courier and Charleston Gazette.

When DuMetz was five years old, her family moved to Detroit where she attended school, graduating from Central High School. She attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, majoring in Psychology. After graduating from Fisk University in 1969, she attended the Art Center College of Design, now located in Pasadena, California.


DuMetz has been a professional photographer for more than four decades. Over the course of her career, she has produced award-winning images for advertising agencies including Burrell Advertising, J. P. Martin Associates, and InterNorth Corporation.

DuMetz ran and maintained three different photography studios located in the Los Angeles area where she was contracted by department stores, record companies, graphic design studios, advertising agencies, public relations firms, film production companies, actors and business professionals.


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