John Sobczak's photos of the Detroit Fire Guild come to Ferndale


The members of the Detroit Fire Guild are the stars of an exhibit shot by local photographer John Sobczak, on display next month.

The portraits of the pyromaniacs — many of which whom have since retired from the fire performing scene — are printed on aluminized metal, which gives them a certain illusion of illumination. The exhibit runs from May 4 to May 28, with an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 14. 

"I don't mean this in a demeaning way, but I feel they have this innocence, this sort of childlike play that gets stamped out of most people as they grow up, and I think they're fighting that," Sobczak told us when we previously interviewed him about the series. "That they want to enjoy a lot of the things that they had the opportunity to do when they were young. ... They love it. They live for it. They'll spend months coming up with an outfit for it and making it, and doing the full makeup. And I think that's phenomenal."

Check out a slideshow of 12 of Sobczak’s photos here.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.