Tag Archives: photography

We asked teens to capture Philly’s beauty. Here’s what happened.

At Keep Philly Beautiful, we joke that we do exactly what our name suggests. Our mission is grounded in our fundamental belief that Philadelphia is an awesome, unique, and above all else, beautiful city to live, work, and play.

But that’s just us. We wanted to know what everyone else thought.

Last May, we visited a group of talented young artists enrolled in the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center‘s teen photographers program. Our conversation covered a lot of topics, ranging from the socio-economic effects of litter in neighborhoods to the city’s Zero Waste initiatives. They pressed us for more information on waterway pollution and how it contributes to public health. They wanted to know what the city was doing to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills. They peppered us with questions as to what can and cannot be recycled, and why.

At the end of our talk, we posed a simple question: what about Philadelphia is beautiful to you? 

And they went on their way, and we waited.

They came back to us with images of architecture, skylines, smiling friends, greenery, transportation hubs, huge celebrations, sunsets, snowstorms, bustling streets, row homes, wildlife, North Philly, West Philly, South Philly, Center City…and on and on.

When we began to post them to social media using the hashtag #MyBeautifulPHL, other community groups, individuals, and businesses began to join in too, resulting in a diverse and varied collection of images, all somehow depicting the same thing.

The images are collected in a gallery below, but we encourage you to also visit our Facebook Album, like the images, and participate in discussion. Better yet, we are hosting an art exhibition at the Frankford Community Development Center on August 3, where you can browse the photographs and talk with the artists in person. Tickets are free, and food and drink will be provided.

So, what does #MyBeautifulPHL mean to you?