Every now and again a photographer has the opportunity to become a part of the moments that they capture Brianna Bivens from the 2016 Advanced Photojournalism class found herself not only capturing wonderful photos for the Eyes on LaFollette project but offering her skills to this bride and groom to capture their special day as their official wedding photographer.
Welcome to our Eyes on LaFollette website. Featuring photographs by more than 300 University of Tennessee advanced photojournalism students over three decades, the Eyes on LaFollette project has documented life in this small former coal town 45 minutes north of Knoxville, Tennessee. As a professor in our School of Journalism and Electronic Media, I started this project in 1993 with the help of Larry Smith, publisher of the LaFollette Press weekly newspaper at that time. He generously offered us a section of the newspaper to feature our photographs.
In this website, you’ll see galleries of many of the best photographs, copies of the newspaper sections, group photos of the students (and a slowly aging professor), videos, a blog and additional media to be added in the future.
There’s a timeless feel to many of the photographs. They show a town that’s somehow changed over the years and also stayed much the same. They demonstrate the continued power of the still photograph in displaying a frozen moment in time. Find a comfortable chair, take a look around and you’ll get to know the people of LaFollette as we have over the years.
How does a town as small as LaFollette support a cab driver? In 1993 student photographer, Jason Gregory, had the opportunity to ride along with Roy “Woody” Woodrow and to learn more about his role in the rural town. His face remains a favorite from the first edition (1993) of the Eyes on LaFollette and the special edition of the LaFollette Press.
Throughout the years of the Eyes on LaFollette project, we often see similar themes emerge in the photography. One of those repeating themes includes interesting close-ups of hands.