Finding Gratitude through Photography with Dave LaBelle

Campbellsville University has been fortunate enough to welcome renowned photographer Dave LaBelle as a guest professor for the second bi-term of our Spring semester. While these last few weeks have certainly been unimaginably different than what anyone could have expected, LaBelle is encouraging his students to focus on the positives each and every day. His focus is on filling his CU students and others around the world with gratitude during this uncertain time.

Dave is currently teaching two photography classes here at Campbellsville University and shot the beautiful sunrise photo on our website homepage of campus. The courses focus on photography and faith as well as how photography can help heal the soul.

With the #HealthyAtHome order in place throughout Kentucky, many students returned home and are limited in what they can publicly photograph.While this challenged him to rethink his class photography assignments, both classes are currently doing a daily gratitude journal.

The Gratitude Journal project encourages you to write in your journal daily about the things and moments that we are each fortunate enough to have or experience.

He asks his students to include the following aspects in each journal entry:

  •  How do I feel today?
  •  What pictures did I make, and why?
  •  What am I thankful for this day?
  •  What was the most beautiful thing I witnessed today?
  •  Any other observations or thoughts.

Dave is a great believer in doing what he ask students to do, and has been posting a gratitude picture each day.  You can follow Dave’s daily Gratitude Journal at

Dave LaBelle has been in photography for more than 60 years. He has worked for newspapers, magazines and television stations and has taught at the University of Kentucky, Kent State University and Western Kentucky University. He continues to do photography, write and teach.

If you are looking for a great read while staying healthy at home be sure to pick up Bridges & Angels: The story of Ruth, the newly published novel by Dave.

Bridges & Angels: The Story of Ruth“After many years or laboring with this story,” LaBelle said in a press statement, “my first novel is finally finished.  Though some suggested I write this as a memoir, I resisted because I wanted to change history and give the story of my mother a different ending. Since my mother’s body was never officially found or identified, “Bridges and Angels: The Story of Ruth” is about what could have happened after her disappearance.  This 350-page book is fiction, but much of it is nonfiction. I hope you find the story compelling.”

You can find the book for purchase at either or

For information about LaBelle, go to






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