Photography at BISB!
Updated: Jun 25, 2022
By Madeline Smith
The photography club is run by Ms. Jennifer Wagner and meets on Thursday after school from 4 pm to 5:15 pm. It is a great way to learn skills in mixed media, editing, and photography. These are amazing ways to express yourself and learn new skills.
In the photography club, students work on projects picked from their imagination. Project themes can range from abstract mixed media to the seven deadly sins, a classification of vices within Christianity. Students usually create these projects over a term. There are many tools used that go into their creation. Often students like to use websites such as Befunky for editing or Adobe Lightroom for manipulating the lighting and color scheme of an image.
I sat down with Ms. Wagner to learn more about her experience with photography and the club.
What interested you in creating a photography club?
I wanted to give kids a chance to be creative and think outside the box. The school offers a lot of art, mixed media, and film studies, but there isn’t a section for photography. There’s a lot of students that thrive more in hands-on activities where photography would be great for them. Whether it’s black and white, color, in digital format, or mixed media, it gives them a chance to be expressive and use their imagination.
Why is photography a great skill to learn?
I feel that photography is a great skill to learn because, not only does it teach you to think outside the box, but it teaches you to think critically. You can incorporate math and angles into it. You can work on lighting techniques and brainstorm thoughts of what you want your image to look like. It is storytelling and the ability to incorporate many different things into one photo. Also, it’s a great skill for someone who hasn’t done it before because you are learning how to use a camera. It’s very hands-on and you can go outside, instead of just sitting in a classroom.
What has your experience been like teaching photography?
I took photography all four years of college, and I was the TA (teacher’s assistant) for photography in my last two years. I grew my passion for photography from helping kids in a dark room with black and white photography. When I was in school, I never thought I would teach photography to kids. However, I decided to give it a try because it combines my love for teaching and photography. Over the years, I have found it enjoyable because each group of kids is very different. They have very different tastes, and they have very different ideas but are all a pleasure to teach.
For someone who is wanting to learn photography, what is a tip you would give them?
A tip I would give is, again, to think outside the box. Photography doesn’t just happen one way. There are many parts to it, and you can always incorporate new things. That is also a reason I think people enjoy it because you can put a lot of yourself into it. If you like something creative, that is not necessarily normal, then photography is great for you.
One of the members of the club, Logan Cantone, expressed his thoughts about the power of photography: “Photography can keep people and concepts alive that would no longer be, had it not been for the pictures taken when they were still alive.”
Recently we have found ourselves in a social media-heavy time. We are constantly glued to our phones, unable to see the world around us. We lose sight of what’s right in front of us and the beauty of the world from different angles. With the use of photography, you can learn to explore the outdoors in an attempt to capture its true beauty. The lighting and angle work can change your perspective on an environment completely, allowing you to see it in a new light.