A Focus
on Talent

Our exhibitions put more than our students’ photographs on display. They give young artists the opportunity to display their work, demonstrate their photography skills, and, most importantly, share something that could not be more important – their story.

St. Mary’s: Our Time

The students from the St. Mary’s School in Silanga, Kibera, have been engaged with Photo Start now for about a year, and their work is fantastic. An exhibition of the students’ work was held on October 18, 2019, in Silanga, to celebrate our students’ achievements. Further, the exhibition served as a Parents’ Day event, and allowed parents of students to engage with our program firsthand. Students received their first certifications, and celebrated the milestones with a field trip to Stedmak Gardens in Nairobi, Kenya, the following day. A phenomenal time was had by all.

These images that the students have taken are terrific and provide a firsthand look into the lives of precious children living in poverty, while demonstrating their ability to learn and create at a high level.

Partner: St. Mary’s School

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In partnership with Skylum Global, our students are able to process their images using Artificial Intelligence.

Using AI, we breathe new life into old cameras, and present results that are very acceptable by today’s standards.

The images shared are all taken by the students of the Inua Mimi Rescue Centre, and were in exhibition at the Alliance Française, Nairobi, Kenya, from July 22 – 26, 2019. This is a great accomplishment for many of our students, with 42 graduating from our program and moving on to new secondary schools.

Congratulations to all of our great students!

Partner: Inua Mimi Rescue Centre

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New York times: this is 18

In 2018, the New York Times ran a global, “This is 18” campaign to celebrate girls and women around the world. A small group of female photographers, aged 18 (or so), were selected from different countries around the world. They were tasked with finding a subject and documenting a “day in the life” of their subject. The totality of the project depicted life for girls aged 18 from all over the world.

Student Sarah Sunday was selected to participate in this project based upon a recommendation from one of Photo Start’s key advisors, Brad Smith, who formerly worked at The New York Times. Unique opportunities like the one Sarah was able to participate in are incredibly important, and we are always thankful to people who help provide young people with significant opportunities.

The assignment asked the photographers to depict their subject(s) at home, during their daily lives, and amongst other things, sharing their favorite apps on their mobile phones. Our student impressed the staff of the Times so much that they asked her to feature a second subject.

Sarah’s images were featured online and in print. She was remunerated for her efforts by The New York Times. This was a great opportunity that led our student to submit work and win a Courage award in a subsequent contest in “Girl’s’ Voices for Change,” with work featuring a different perspective on her native South Sudan.

Partner: Akili Dada Foundation

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kibera kids girls’ success

In recognition of the International Day of the Girl, Akili Dada, we envision a world in which African women leaders are actively participating in key decision-making processes across sectors hosted by the Dada’s Lead Art Competition. The competition featured entries in various artistic and literary categories. The theme of the competition was, “What is Girls’ Success?” The event is very prestigious and was open to individuals and groups across Africa.

We are thrilled that our entry, “Student Leader Purity Adhiambo,” won Top Honors in the Photography segment.

In recognition of this great achievement, a larger exhibition was created celebrating our female students and some of their amazing achievements. This companion exhibition opened to the public on January 11, 2018 at Alliance Française, Nairobi.

In less than two years of exposure to cameras and supporting technologies, these girls have learned how to use cameras, and to teach and support others to do the same. This result is one of the goals of a Photo Start workshop.

Partner: Inua Mimi Rescue Center

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kibera kids takeover

The students from the Inua Mimi Center have been engaged with Photo Start now for almost a year and their work is astonishing. On April 18, 2017, the Kibera Kids Takeover exhibition was opened to the public for the first time at Alliance Française – Nairobi. The exhibit moved to the Nairobi National Museum for public exhibition on July 22, 2017. These images that the students have taken are truly magnificent and provide not only a perspective into the lives of precious children living in poverty, but a demonstration of their ability to learn and create at a high level.

Partner: Inua Mimi Rescue Center

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Welcome to Inua Mimi

Take a look through the eyes of our students as they share their perspective on life in the Olympic area of Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, participate in our photo workshop, and visit with some of the neighbors!

Partner: Inua Mimi Rescue Center

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Meet the Students

Students in the Photo Start program learn how to tell their stories through the compelling pictures they create. But now, you can read the story behind the photograph.



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Photo Start 119W 72nd St - #140
New York, New York 10023