Atlanta Photographer Documents Cheshire Bridge Road

The Armorettes’ Plenty Moore is just one of the many characters Teri Darnell has photographed on Cheshire Bridge Road.

Teri Darnell

Cheshire Bridge Road has been called Atlanta’s red-light district. It is a street that comes to life after hours with strip clubs, drag performance venues, and adult shops.

And, like much of Atlanta, it has completely transformed in recent years. Restaurants and clubs have closed to make way for apartments and mixed-use developments.

Some residents will be happy to see Cheshire Bridge Road’s former reputation go. But one Atlanta photographer has dismantled that reputation by highlighting the area’s diverse and generous community.

Teri Darnell has been documenting the street for 10 years and lives in the surrounding community. Darnell highlights the street and the personalities that have made it what it is today from the former owner of Alfredo’s, which closed earlier this year, to members of the Armorettes, a group of camp drag queens who have raised over $2 million for HIV/AIDS.

Her series is called “Crossing Cheshire Bridge.”

“At first glance, the series might seem like an exploration of otherness within a seedy place that is censured by the surrounding affluent residential community and suburbs, but it is quite the opposite,” she said in her artist statement. “The images reveal deep personal connections that provide a glimpse into their lives. Their untold stories open a door to countless insights of human behavior.”

Darnell’s photos will go on display at the Showcase School of Photography Gallery this weekend through March 12 with an artist talk on Saturday at 10 a.m. She also has a “Crossing Cheshire Bridge” book available with all proceeds going to Lost-n-Found Youth, which is also of Cheshire Bridge.

You can hear Darnell in conversation with Lois Reitzes in the audio above.