J&C senior reflects on daily photo project, experience covering Trump rally


Alex Coburn

For many J&C magnet students, photography is an integral part of their school curriculum, but for Hannah Phillips (12, J&C), taking pictures is more than a mere hobby—it’s a passion. Phillips has been involved with photography since she started as a freshman in Manual’s Journalism and Communication program. Most recently, she used her skills to document a student-led protest at the March 1 Donald Trump rally in Louisville.

“I was originally going to go just as the press and try to get photos of Donald Trump, but a lot of my friends were protesting,” Phillips said. “Then I ended up protesting and taking photos.”

Phillips’s photos went viral on Twitter after the rally. She said that she received both positive and negative online feedback for documenting the protest, but that the experience was valuable overall.

A protester raises a sign at the March 1 Donald Trump rally. Photo by Hannah Phillips.

“It was weird taking photos at the Trump rally because I didn’t really feel like a protester, but I was, and I was dressed like a protester,” Phillips said. “I kind of had a protection. People weren’t booing me necessarily. I had a protection behind my camera.”

Phillips’s long-standing interest in photography, however, began long before the recent rally. A year ago today, Phillips embarked upon a personal project in which she vowed to shoot at least one picture every day for an entire year. She has documented her progress on her blog, entitled Photo 365, where she’s posted everything from studio portraits to candid images of friends.

“I was taking photos that day [March 21, 2015] of a baseball game anyway, and I thought that would be a nice day to start since I already had photos,” she said. “I don’t really like things that start on January 1 because I think anything that starts on January 1 is doomed to fail.”

Phillips said that she was originally inspired to pursue a Photo 365 project by a comment from her photojournalism teacher, Ms. Liz Palmer (Journalism).

“In class one day, my photography teacher said that she’s never seen any student do a good, successful photo 365,” Phillips said.

Now that her work is complete, Phillips has amassed a collection of pictures representing both her growth as a photographer and a personal experiences over the course of one year. The photos run the gamut from documenting her personal relationships to her academic career to her life at home.

Phillips said that she now plans to transform her blog into a platform for displaying general photography work.