LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

As part of our commitment to the community of photographers, NEED donated to the annual LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph festival this year in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The LOOK3 festival brings together photographers from all over in order to create a community in which everyone can share insights to improve their work and expand the impression that their imagery makes. As part of the festival, NEED photographers Steve Floyd, Paul Corbit Brown, and others attended workshops such as “The Photographic Essay” lead by David Alan Harvey and James Nachtwey — whose imagery has also appeared in NEED.

James Nachtwey. photo | Steve Floyd

“They only compare your work to the best, and after we were challenged in that way, we get back out and work, and your stock, your skill, everything just goes up a couple of notches simply because of their critiques,” say Floyd. He says that Nachtwey, in particular, challenged him and helped him understand what it means to make a photograph that will change the world. Steve’s project during the event was to photograph an urban project area known for having troubles with violence. “I spent a few days just wandering through and taking pictures. … Then I started talking to a few kids and I asked them who had the most history and knew the most about this neighborhood, and they led me right to who I call the ‘Barack Obama of the block,’ the community organizer.” This man arranged for Floyd to spend time with families in the project and become a part of many of the things that people in that community did on a daily basis. After four days of shooting, Floyd donated his images to the project’s youth center. When members of the community saw the photographs, “everybody just broke into tears and said that ‘this is not the community that we see,’ meaning that the photographs just showed a real community. It didn’t just show the typical violence. … It demonstrated to them all the activity that goes on in that community.

Image from the urban project photo essay. photo | Steve Floyd

Image from the urban project photo essay. photo | Steve Floyd

The feeling that moved me was walking up out of there and knowing that I had made an impact on people who had lived there all their life.” Showing members of that community a different way to view their surroundings gave them a new attitude and Floyd says that this was what the LOOK3 festival had challenged him to do.

photo | Steve Floyd

As part of our support for the festival, NEED donated almost 400 copies of the magazine to attendees of LOOK3. The magazines were placed out on a table for anyone to take. Floyd says there were quite a few people clamoring to get a copy. Every single copy was gone within 15 minutes. We hope to be even more involved next year.

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

Steve Floyd

"In the Crossfire" from NEED Issue 5 photography by Steve Floyd

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