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Photography for social change: Free hands-on workshop

Photo of Alvin Jacobs at a demonstration

During times of intense social change, documentary photography is one way in which people, particularly those from underrepresented groups, can be empowered to tell their own stories and those of their communities. 

Are you interested in learning about the techniques and ethical considerations involved in taking photographs in the context of social justice? We invite you to join Atkins Library for a series of three workshops, led by acclaimed photographer and “artivist” Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr. in October.

The workshops will cover techniques for safely taking pictures on the street and during demonstrations, ethical and captivating portraiture, and how students and community members can engage in recording historical moments themselves in real time. Atkins Library archivists will also share knowledge and best practices for preserving digital photographs, so they can become part of the historical record.

Workshop Agenda

Session 1: October 8, 2:00 PM. Via Zoom What is Artivism? What is a Citizen Journalist? 

  • What is artivism and how does it differ from regular photojournalism?
  • Elements of responsible and safe documentary photography
  • Participants will consider: “What is an issue that you care about that you feel needs documenting?”

Session 2: October, 15, 2:00 PM. Walking Tour Uptown

  • This session must be limited to 20 participants. Face coverings will be required.
  • What devices (Iphones, Androids, DSLR) can be used to take pictures and at what specifications?
  • Camera angles and distance from the subject
  • Participants will take photographs and share them with Alvin for discussion at next session

Session 3: October 22, 2:00 PM. Via Zoom Sharing of photos and tips for personal archiving

  • Discussion and appreciation of participants’ photos
  • Things to keep in mind when sharing on social media
  • Personal archiving: preserving your photos for future generations

About Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr.

Mr. Jacobs is a native of Rockford, Illinois. His work has been exhibited at the Levine Museum of the New South and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture, and he was the Gantt Center’s 2018-2019 artist-in-residence. In 2018, Jacobs was also voted one of Charlotte Magazine’s Charlotteans of the Year.  He has been commissioned for and has collaborated on various projects across the nation - including stints with the NFL, NBA, NASCAR - and has contributed social commentary via interviews on CNN, HLN, and Fox News Network and various local outlets.

Register by October 1

Please note the walking tour in Session 2 is limited to 20 participants. Face coverings will be required.

The free Photography for Social Change workshop sessions are made possible by a Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund grant. For more information, please contact Adreonna Bennett.