Introducing the Dear Lawrence community photo project: We need your help!

Entries accepted through August 15

This is the corner of Seventh and New Hampshire streets as it was sometime around 1911. The building was once a post office. I removed the print from the newsroom of the Lawrence Journal-World with the help of Trevan McGee and Kevin Anderson.

A few weeks back I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a link to the Dear Photograph project which was shared by several of my friends. If you haven’t seen it yet, go to It’s worth a long look.

People bring old photographs to the exact locations where they were shot years ago. Then, quite literally, you take a picture of that old picture in the location as it looks today. We’re excited to announce a Lawrence community project to do the same thing in our community. We’re calling it Dear Lawrence, but more about that in a minute.

One of the coolest things about the Dear Photograph idea is you don’t have to know any of the people in any of the photos to feel the sense of nostalgia that old photos bring. It’s a tribute to memories, but also a tribute to photographs as physical relics of those memories. I’ve emailed, tweeted and “Facebooked” photos a hundred or a thousand times recently, but I can’t remember the last time I made a print.

Looking through the site, certain submissions concentrate on portraying the changing landscape, while others highlight people we’ve lost or places that have gone away. Some of the most effective are those that create a feeling of perseverance — by showing just how little has changed in the scenery.

In light of the popularity of the project we’re organizing a Lawrence edition, and we need your and The Lawrence Journal-World are currently taking submissions for the “Dear Lawrence Project,” which will be modeled after Dear Photograph. In addition to posting the submissions in a photo gallery on and on Facebook, we will choose and print selected entries that best convey a sense of nostalgia, change or perseverance. We’re also organizing a show of featured photographs working at the News Center, 645 New Hampshire, during Final Fridays on Aug. 26, 2011. We’ll highlight contributions from our own photographers, community photographers and those taken by members of the community.

To submit, email high-resolution photographs along with your name to or post them on our Facebook page. Please provide a few lines of caption info to provide some context and also to help people understand what has changed. You could also include the emotions the photo evokes in you. Don’t be afraid to make it personal. They are your photographs.

There aren’t really any rules and the photos don’t have to be from Lawrence. Most of you will have some connection to Lawrence or live within close proximity, but if not, that’s OK too. You’ll just have to travel farther than others to see your work displayed!

Our primary requirement is that the photos be shot in the same location where they were originally taken. Not everything has to line up exactly and in many cases it won’t matter how hard you try. Trust me. We do ask that the use of Photoshop be kept to a minimum; cropping and a bit of contrast and color toning is OK. Cloning and other altering techniques are frowned upon. We’re going by the honor system, but use your best judgement.

We will be accepting submissions from right now until 6 p.m. on Aug. 15. If you submit through Facebook, we may contact you for more info in the event that we choose your image or images for the show. If you email the submission, make sure to include your name somewhere in the body of the email.

Enough. Good luck and have fun!