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Shelby Lee Adams - Four Decades
Shelby Lee Adams spent four decades gaining the trust of the people in Eastern Kentucky, sometimes photographing up to five generations of the same family
"From the Heads of the Hollers" is a compilation of previously unpublished photographs taken by Adams between 1974 and 2010. The collection serves as a portrayal of the culture and people of Adams' native land. Adams had a personal connection to the region and aimed to print these overlooked images during his lifetime to ensure their preservation.
Throughout the years, Adams made annual summer trips to eastern Kentucky, allowing him to reconnect with his childhood roots and capture portraits of various individuals. These portraits encompassed family members and friends and multiple generations of the same families, highlighting the rich tapestry of the region's community.
Adams' approach to photography involved forming a strong bond with his subjects. This connection enabled him to capture authentic and engaging portraits, reflecting the unique stories and experiences of the people he photographed. His empathetic and respectful approach to portraying the individuals of eastern Kentucky distinguishes his work and contributes to the powerful impact of his photographs.
Overall, "From the Heads of the Hollers" is a testament to Shelby Lee Adams' deep connection with eastern Kentucky and his desire to capture and preserve the region's cultural heritage through his photography.