This is the second set of photos taken by Baltimore Beat Director of Photography Schaun Champion’s students. Champion has taught classes at the Youth Art Institute at Morgan State University’s James E. Lewis Museum of Art since 2019. Participants range in age from 11 to 16. 

The lockdown stage of the pandemic meant that Champion had to be creative about how she taught — some of her classes were virtual, and when she did see the kids in person, they kept their photography sessions outside. 

These photos were taken at the U.S. Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C., on April 23, 2023. Champion said the project is a way of exploring the feeling of reconnecting with society and nature.

“I felt like that was a good starting off point for reintegration into society,” she said. “Where are people going to kind of reconnect to nature again and be amongst each other?” (Lisa Snowden)

Photo credit: Blake Smith
Photo credit: Chris Champion
Photo credit: Chris Champion
Photo credit: Zuri Wiggins Credit: Zuri Wiggins
Photo credit: Phoenix Barber