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"South Side Stand" Photo Walk Returns And Will Explore More City Neighborhoods

A woman takes a photo of a man with a jacket hanging off his sholder and holding a radio. Another man with a camera stands behind the woman.
South Side Stand

Local photographers will return to Syracuse neighborhoods this summer for the South Side Stand’s photo walks. The Stand Director Ashley Kang said it’s an opportunity for people to capture the everyday life of communities they don’t often interact with and get to know them.

“And then since we’ve done it so many years, there’s families that we see and get to see every year, and they’re...’Oh, you’re back! Come take pictures,’” said Kang. “We get to see the neighborhood that’s not often highlighted in other media, people having barbeques, preparing for birthday parties, just living life you know, just having a typical day on a Saturday.”

The photo walks focus on street photography and portraiture. People of all ages and ability participate. Jeff Perkins teaches photography and is leading one of the walks. He said many participants have experience taking photos of nature, but as many are comfortable photographing people.

“Most people who don’t do people photography are really nervous about approaching strangers and asking them to be photographed,” said Perkins, “But a photo walk like this, and particularly when the neighborhood knows that a photo walk is going to be happening, and there’ll be photographers meandering around, creates an essence like, a safe environment for the photographer.”

This year’s event will be the 12th photo walk in Syracuse, and it’s expanding beyond just the South Side. There will be walks taking place on Syracuse’s North Side, Southwest Side, Sedgwick Neighborhood, and Downtown during weekends in July.

Man with camera stands across from another man.
Bob Gates
South Side Stand
Jeff Perkins participating in a past walk, 2018. This is his first year leading a walk as a Photo Leader. He'll be teamed up with Reggie Seigler and Clifford Ryan.

Jeff Perkins believes photographing people is a way to empower them and their community’s stories.

“It gives people a chance to talk about their lives a bit, talk about their neighborhood. And it lets us all kind of know each other better in the community,” said Perkins.

The walks for this year are mostly full, but there is still the chance to participate with The Stand’s photo contest. They’ll be accepting images across four categories: street life, architecture, portrait, and scenic. Ashley Kang shares that the winning photographs will be displayed prominently in the city

“We will be partnering with the Urban Video Project, and so they will again be projected downtown on the side of the Everson starting August 22nd, so I think Sunday through Wednesday of that week,” said Kang. “And people can come down and see them and kind of, reveal who the winners are.”

There are prizes for first, second, third and fourth place in each category. The deadline to submit a photo is August 1st. You can submit a photo on the Stand’s website.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.
Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.