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Detroit is not dead. I know this because I've been documenting Detroit's future. I am photographing Detroit's people.
Detroit is not dead. I know this because I've been documenting Detroit's future. I am photographing Detroit's people.
134 backers pledged $6,911 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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If you've noticed the onslaught of national media attention and the photographs posted to many tumblr sites and photo blogs...you might believe Detroit is already dead and decayed into ruins…there's no hope for this city…Detroit's too screwed up.

But I know differently...Detroit is not dead…I know this because I've been documenting Detroit's future...I've been photographing Detroit's people.

The future of Detroit rests with its entrepreneurs, artists, dreamers, musicians, innovators, recovering addicts, urban farmers, clergy, children and educators.

I believe strongly that the future of Michigan very much depends upon the future of Detroit. Perception matters. Photographs and stories can help to shape perception. Perception can become reality.

My "Detroit Portraits" series began as a personal photography project a few months ago in my spare time. The response has been wonderful so far and I want desperately for it to continue. 

This Kickstarter project, if funded, will help me to dedicate much more time in early 2012 to its rapid completion. My goal is photograph a total of 30-40 people with amazing stories and insights. I'm also recording audio interviews and personal stories with many of the portrait subjects as well.

So what will I do with these images and personal stories? To be 100% honest I'm not fully certain yet. But the work must be done. Many more Detroit portraits must be completed before I know the final outcome. The photographs might be published in a national or international magazine (two images were recently published in BOAT Magazine out of London). They might become a book or exhibition (three of the images have already been exhibited at the Grand Rapids Art Museum).

Thank you for considering becoming a supporter. I welcome your questions and feedback at brian@briankellyphoto.net

FAQ

  • Kickstarter stops taking pledges at 4:15 Saturday afternoon, December 31. I'm not expecting anything too substantial but I've decided to set aside any additional funds I receive towards a potential future small book project consisting of the Detroit Portraits. I say "potential" right now only because at the moment all I care to focus on is getting to work right away in Detroit and taking the best portraits I can for the next couple of months. If I do that well then other opportunities will arise and I'll deal with that much later in the year. I believe that first things need to come first.

    Last updated:
  • I've already scheduled a full day of shoots on Thursday, January 5 and will return as often as I can in January. I can't wait!

    Last updated:

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    4"x5" project postcard with thank you note and unconditional love.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A signed six-panel (accordion) press printed copy of "Detroit Portraits" promotional piece plus the $5 award (love included).

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    4"x6" signed archival inkjet photograph. This is a photo of YOUR choice that is selected from the finished project. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    8.5"x11" signed archival inkjet photograph. This is a photo of YOUR choice that is selected from the finished project. Please add $15 for international shipping.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    11"x14" signed archival inkjet photograph. This is a photo of YOUR choice that is selected from the finished project. Please add $25 for international shipping.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    11"x17" signed archival inkjet photograph. This is a photo of YOUR choice that is selected from the finished project. Please add $25 for international shipping.

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    16"x20" signed C-print photograph of YOUR choice from the finished project. Please add $30 for international shipping.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A commissioned corporate or individual portrait session. This is a 1-hour photo shoot with Brian Kelly on location and includes editing time and minor Photoshop work (we're NOT saying you need it) plus an 11x17 signed inkjet print from the shoot. This includes locations within 40 miles of Grand Rapids. I'm happy to travel further but only if travel expenses are covered.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    30"x40" framed c-print that was recently exhibited at The Grand Rapids Art Museum as part of the Michigan Perspectives exhibition. This is one of the three actual framed pieces that were installed in the museum exhibition. Shipping costs will vary by location of receiver.

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Funding period

- (30 days)