Last weekend, VII Photographers Ashley Gilbertson and Ed Kashi conducted a popup workshop as part of the #VIIPhotoDC series of events. The group began the day by congregating on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Kashi felt this meeting place was “a special place to begin. Standing under the marble columns discussing important issues of photography and engaging with our world seemed absolutely perfect.” The conditions were “just right for a great day of image-making and learning.”
The group discussed authorship and the importance of a personal approach to storytelling. Participant Caroline Lacey commented on the valuable lessons learned from Gilbertson and Kashi’s workshop, “some powerful conversations happened that hopefully people will carry with them.” Workshop participants were tasked with documenting the DC Mall, capturing a tableau of America, through five different kinds of images: a sense of place, a candid moment, a detail, a portrait, and a great monument picture, given where they were. Below is a selection of photographs made by the participants during the workshop.
One of the participants, Jason Kazi reflects on the experience, “I really enjoyed the workshop….because I rarely have the opportunity of shooting street photography and I also rarely walk around the National Mall with my ‘photography hat’ on.”
Erica Wissolik, a DC resident shared a similar experience, taking the opportunity to take a close look at things and make photographs of the everyday. Wissolik writes, “I took [this] workshop because I wanted a challenge. I live in DC and look at that stuff every day. At one point I could sit on my couch and stare at the Capitol. In short, it’s hard to go to the Mall and shoot!”
Instructor, Ashley Gilbertson, relates to this attentiveness to the vernacular, “I was struck by how emotional the mall can be when you really pay attention to the various monuments.” When asked about the highlights of the day, Gilbertson, who was on childcare duty that weekend, reflected, “I loved sitting around and chatting photography underneath the Washington Monument as Hugo, my four year old, procured discarded, partially drunk, bottles of water and distributed them to attendees.”