Eighth Grade Portrait Project, Sarah Greenwood School, Boston, MA

Students in Ms. Hargrove’s class at the Sarah Greenwood School in Dorchester, MA visited the Addison in the fall to view Class Pictures: Photographs by Dawoud Bey. The visit inspired the idea for creating an exhibition in their classroom of their own portraits and written statements.

Finding Inspiration in the Class Pictures Photographs of Dawoud Bey

Visiting the exhibition sparked conversations about portraits, identity, and stereotypes. Students were equally drawn to Bey’s images as they were to the statements written by the students in the photographs.

Exploring Cameras and Making Portraits

During the last part of their visit to the Addison, Ms. Hargrove’s students worked in pairs to practice making their own portraits. Exploring different features of the camera, as well as trying out a variety of poses, expressions, and settings, the students left the Addison with some clearer ideas about how they would like to portray themselves in their photographs.

Making a Classroom Exhibition and Discussing Photography with Dawoud Bey

After making portraits and writing statements, Ms. Hargrove’s class displayed their work in a classroom exhibition. The students were excited to have the opportunity to meet with Dawoud Bey, who visited their classroom to discuss their exhibition. At the end of Bey’s visit, the class posed for a special class picture, photographed by Bey.