Three youth serving photo programs in Detroit—Capturing Belief, Darkroom Detroit, and Inside Southwest Detroit—came together to develop the Young Detroit Photo Society (YDPS) as a program that introduces the youth of Detroit to photography by way of also introducing them to each other and their own city.
With an emphasis on skill building in photography, youth from various neighborhoods around Detroit meet and serve as each others’ guides as they participate in photo-based scavenger hunts that ultimately produce community-driven narratives about places and their time together. The program supports youth in developing photographic competencies, exploring and learning about different places around the city, and connecting and building relationships with youth from various communities and backgrounds.
Inside Southwest Detroit recently hosted the first edition when more than 20 young photographers from around the city met at their space at Avis and Elsmere. They were greeted by photo mentors, also from various neighborhoods and organizations around the city.
Eight of the participants were from Southwest Detroit and served as guides in groups on photo walks that covered a half square mile. Having gone in different directions, the young photogs reunited at the building to share their photos with mentors and each other then collaboratively selected and captioned photos that would best depict the routes they traveled. Together the body of work forms a photo narrative of the community and their time together.
No part of this effort would be possible without the mission and vision of the organizations and the shared passion and values of the photographers that each contributed to developing and facilitating this first YDPS project. A special thanks to La Sirena Studio and the Documenting Detroit Fellowship for their support and roles as mentors to the young photographers of the YDPS.