While the workshops involved valuable shooting and critiques, they also provided participating photographers with an opportunity for fellowship with other similarly-minded photographers, a network that might provide professional opportunities, but that also, perhaps more significantly, offered support and understanding about the work, its challenges, and its possibilities.
Members of The Treme Sidewalk Steppers prepare for their annual second line parade in New Orleans, LA. © Rush Jagoe 2012.
It’s in this spirit that the ADP Workshop has been revived. Now run by Ross Mantle, known for his work on the Monongahela Valley in Western Pennsylvania, the ADP Workshop Review will convene in Pittsburgh from October 12-15. The review will not be a shooting workshop, but rather an opportunity for photographers currently working on long-term community-based projects throughout the United States to gather and share their experiences and their work. Past workshop participants are invited. New workshop members accepted through an application process may also participate in the review; the next deadline for submissions is August 31.
There is no single characteristic that defines the workshop’s photographers, but the photographers share in their recognition of the importance of a sense of personal investment in, and ongoing relationship with the places where they photograph. Consequently they spend a substantial amount of time establishing trust and exploring the detail of daily life in their site, be they urban or rural. Their works tell the kinds of stories that are seldom if ever addressed in national news media outlets, but which describe experiences shared by countless others.
The upcoming ADP Workshop Review will also address the return of the work to the communities in which they are made, exploring possibilities for photographers to continue an engagement with these communities, as well as how the work can be disseminated outside of the communities in order to make those experiences known.
In a part of Louisiana that has been battered by coastal erosion, Island Road connects the vanishing Isle de Jean Charles to the mainland of Terrebonne Parish. © Rush Jagoe 2010.
Notably, the ADP Workshop is not a for-profit business- it isn’t even a nonprofit organization. It’s really more of a structured informal network; the gate is kept but the criteria for acceptance may better be described as like-mindedness than anything else.
- Leo Hsu
Submissions for ADP Workshop Review due August 31, 2012. See http://adpworkshop.org/Opportunities for more information.