A Few Captures of the Focus On Detroit Photography Festival

On Saturday (9/15/18), we attended the Focus On Detroit Photography Festival. It was held just outside of Highland Park on Woodrow Wilson Street in Detroit.

The theme of the festival was “Celebrating Detroit’s Past, Present and Future Through the Lens of a Camera” and the festival featured various photography exhibits from organizations such as the Detroit Free Press, Darkroom Detroit, Piper Carter, The 48 HR Experience, Documenting Detroit, and Photovoice by HOPE Village Residents.

Detroit’s first photography festival celebrated Detroit’s past, present, and future through the lens of a camera.

As a photographer myself, I really enjoyed viewing photographs created by other Detroit-based photographers.
A Tribute to the late Hugh Grannum was a beautiful collection of the Detroit Free Press photographer’s work. 

The inaugural festival was hosted by Focus HOPE and it was part of their 50th anniversary celebration. The neighborhood-based festival celebrated the people and places of the City of Detroit. 

Photography exhibitions, artist talks, workshops, and performances were all part of the festival. There was even a cool light show which featured photographs from many of the exhibits.

Documenting Detroit 
Elevated by CBMA
Focus: HOPE Mentors

Workshops included hands-on experiences to learn more about various types of photography like fashion photography and smartphone photography. Who would have thought that smartphone photography would become an art form, right?!

Festival visitors were able to learn more about enhancing their photography skills or how to get started in photography. All of the activities and workshops were free to the public. There were also a few workshops that were youth-friendly for young people to participate in and learn more about photography.

Inspiring Youth Through Photography, for instance, was a youth-centered photography workshop. Hosted by Focus: HOPE Excel Photograph Program, the workshop gave youth an opportunity to learn how to use photography to have their voices heard and how to create stories through creative discovery and self-expression.

Here are a few of the workshops that were featured at the photography festival:

The Art of Smartphone Photography

My Fashion Photography Career

Three Important Concepts for Awesome Photography

Film’s Still Alive

Painting with Light

Music and dancing at the photography festival
West African drum performance

Photography Exhibits

Twenty-seven Detroit-based photographers featured their work at the photography festival. According to the Focus: HOPE website, the exhibition was curated by professional photographers Ralph Jones, Gordon Rodwan, and S. Kay Young.

A few of my favorites were the 48 HOUR Photography Project, D-Cyphered Portraits by Jenny Risher, Tribute to Hugh Grannum, and Detroit to Kabul: Youth Photo Exchange.

Photographer Ray Rogers’ photographs were featured in the 48 HOUR Photography Project.
Photographer Jessica DeMuro photographs were also featured in the 48 HOUR Photography Project.
Jenny Risher’s photography exhibit featured Detroit Hip-Hop artists.
J. Dilla’s mother captured by photographer Jenny Risher
More portraits of Detroit Hip-Hop artists, including Big Sean, by photographer Jenny Risher.
Detroit Hip-Hop Photography Exhibit by Jenny Risher
I loved the D-Cyphered portraits by Jenny Risher!

The Focus On Detroit Photography Festival was a wonderful event to highlight the beauty and strengths of the City of Detroit. It was also a great opportunity for newcomers to learn more about the city and its residents. We hope Focus On Detroit will host their photography festival again next year because we really enjoyed the event!

Were you able to make it to the Focus On Detroit Photography Festival?

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