On Friday, Snap! Orlando launches its annual photography festival and this year’s edition, titled YOU ARE HERE, is an eyeful. Instead of being confined to one primary location for a weekend, Snap is spreading itself across the city and the calendar: Snap events happen every day in May, in 24 different locations in Orlando, Winter Park, Tampa, Daytona and Melbourne.
In its previous incarnations, the Snap festival has been neither this sprawling nor this focused. Whereas earlier editions were content to show stunning photography from around the world, this year Snap’s hallmark is social commentary – even, in some cases, social advocacy.
Some examples? Zun Lee’s “Father Figure” explores lesser-seen facets of Black fatherhood. In “7 Days of Garbage,” Gregg Segal unites his portrait subjects with a week’s worth of the refuse they generate. And Jeff and Kyra Hartog’s dramatic underwater photography lends urgency to their message of marine conservation.
Which is not to say that the festival should be approached with a grim sense of duty – these works don’t sacrifice beauty for the sake of social relevance. In a series he calls “Human Nature,” Sean Black went into the woods to document the lives of homeless Floridians. The images he shows of their faces and makeshift dwellings are suffused with joy and tranquility. And Snap will share hundreds more images like these: some gorgeous, some scary, all vital.
YOU ARE HERE runs May 1st through May 31st. More info can be found at snapyouarehere.com.