Labrador In Focus photography exhibit turns a lens on the Big Land

Photographs from youth in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation are set to be on display this weekend.

CBC’s Library Partnership Project, CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, Melville Public Library and Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries are holding a community Labrador In Focus photography exhibit on Saturday.

The Labrador In Focus exhibit will be held at the Lawrence O’Brien Arts Center from 2 pm to 4 pm AT. Food and drinks will be provided at the free event.

A group of sled dogs race off.
‘The dogs take off at the 2023 Labrador Winter Games dog sled race. The team that ran out in front at the start isn’t the one that won the race,’ wrote Mary Saunders. (Mary Saunders)

The Labrador In Focus program is meant to give Labrador youth the tools they need to capture their unique world. The photograph subject is completely up to the young photographers.

The photographers, aged 13 to 23, chose to depict everything from life celebrations to being out on the land.

“I loved it so much,” 15-year-old Mary Saunders said of the program.

A young girl looks off into the distance while wearing a skidoo helmet.
‘Here is my little sister Sara who’s always getting distracted as we pause in the middle of a skidoo ride back to our cozy cabin which is only accessible by skidoo,’ wrote photographer Jaime Brown. (Jaime Brown)

“I love this experience and I feel like people should join and try to experience something new.”

Saunders said she learned how to set her white balance and edit images. Saunders’ favorite photograph he took was one of his sisters. It was one of the first pictures he took and sparked a love of portrait photography, he said.

A poster shows a group of sled dogs running.
The photography exhibit will be held this weekend at the Lawrence O’Brien Arts Centre. (Photography by Mary Saunders)

Other photographers take pictures of things that are important to them. Elliot Pike, 20, created his own long exposure photographs showing movements of northern lights with flashlights and lightsabers.

“I always wanted to learn about photography,” Pike said. “I think I’m really proud to see the exhibit on Saturday.”

The Labrador In Focus program is funded by the CBC Library Partnerships Program. The program is to explore partnership opportunities with public libraries to further community engagement.

Have thoughts about community programming like the Labrador In Focus photography program? Reach out to the program creator here.

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