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Louisville students publish photo book depicting life in the West End

The two books published by the Youth Photography Club
Giselle Rhoden
The Youth Photography Club has released two photo books since it started during the pandemic.

The Neighborhood House Youth Photography Club released “Where Photos Come to Life” last week. The book is a collection of photographs taken by students depicting their lives in west Louisville.

Last week in the Portland neighborhood, a group of students rolled out the red carpet for a launch party for its second book ever published. The Neighborhood House Youth Photography Club released “Where Photos Come to Life,” a book of photos captured by students from ages 5 to 18 in west Louisville.

“I think it feels good to them to see the product of their work and to really have it celebrated,” said Jennie Jean Davidson, executive director of Neighborhood House.

The nonprofit community center supports children, families and senior citizens in the West End.

The center also teaches the photography club how to use professional cameras properly and how to capture the best shots.

The group spent the last three years taking photos of their friends and community members. They had the opportunity to capture scenes at Churchill Downs, the Parklands of Floyds Fork, and West End neighborhoods like Russell and Shawnee.

“We started doing this before the pandemic,” Davidson said. “Really giving the kids cameras and sending them out to document their world and [Neighborhood House] with their friends, and really use that as a way — first of all — to help them just express themselves and do some creative work, but also to do some skill building and photography.”

This is the second book the Youth Photography Club has created.

The club is meant to give children in the West End new opportunities and provide them with an artistic outlet, said Ebony Smith, a program director with Neighborhood House.

“We in the Portland community don't have a lot of resources,” she said. “I just feel like [the kids] were able to receive just a lot of education and knowledge around photography as a whole. So, I think it's great that we do provide that service here and that they do have that program and that we can just help excel the kids in the area.”

The club’s founder, George Williams, is a photographer for the Louisville Defender, a newspaper that has focused on the local Black community since 1933.

Giselle is LPM's breaking news reporter. Email Giselle at grhoden@lpm.org.

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