Notes from the Urban Exposure Project (UEP)


We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”
― Joan Didion, The White Album

From subway dancers in New York, to making sandwiches for others for spiritual renewal, the speakers the UEP group has seen so far have been inspirational to say the least. We’ve learned some of the rules of photography and how to break them; entered work in a photo contest and took part in a Make the Month simulation. For more photos and the full wrap, see below.

One of the major themes so far is the importance of storytelling, the best photos often showcase narrative, and give the audience some context and something to engage with.

We learned about storytelling from photographer Jeremy Fokkens and blogger and communications pro Louise Gallagher.  Photographer Graeme Hull taught us some of the technical ways to tell a story through photography. Chris Malloy (@mistermalloy on Instagram) spoke about the use of colour vs. black and white in photographs, and the feelings evoked by the use of contrast and texture.

Social issues such as poverty and achieving financial stability have been at the forefront of our discussions. We had a Make the Month poverty simulation led by United Way employee LeeAnne Alexander and a presentation by Salimah Kassam about United Way’s efforts to help people achieve financial stability and enabling income. A documentary film called Spent: Looking for Change about everyday Americans struggling without financial options was shown. It’s available online for free viewing, and it’s definitely worth watching.

There are a lot of weeks left in the project so check back for more insider’s updates.