The Whole School Through a Lens

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By: Elle Martinez, IMO High School Student

“Photography is an art, photography is capturing a moment.”

People say this a lot when someone asks what it’s like working with photography. Before this year I had an idea about how photography could be beautiful, but after this year I found a newfound appreciation for taking pictures of people. Since people in general are very good at being expressive it makes for very lively photos.

I came to start working more and more with photography this year while working on the yearbook. This means taking photos in classes of all grade levels and school events. It helps connect you more with the school in a way, that you’re contributing to the community and connect with the younger grade levels who pose as the focus of the photos.

How does it connect though? Is a very good question, it’s not connecting necessarily physically but more emotionally and withdrawn from the moment, while just observing it. It’s almost an indescribable feeling really, capturing a moment where a kid is happy, or working, or possibly just slinking an arm over their friend’s shoulder and both smiling at the camera or laughing. It’s almost as though they’re in a state of pure bliss, in class, like nothing else really matters and they’re very involved in the moment. However, when I can put it into words, I’d say it’s when I’m just so happy when I get the perfect photo at the perfect time and the photo itself tells a whole story. It’s those times when the lighting is so beautiful that it complements the photo instead of being an annoying contrast. Sharing the photo with others is what really brings out the excitement though, to see how an audience would like your camera work.

Every class was a different environment though, from the younger ages to the older ages, and they all reacted a little differently to being photographed. For example, while Journalism was taking photos in primary one little boy started following us around his class and held up a book to Hunter asking her to read it to him. Then when she sat down, slowly kids started integrating over to listen, until she had a small group sitting in the reading corner listening to her read. It’s really the small things they can remember because they’ll often recognize you when you walk into their class again later. But you’re probably wondering why I didn’t bring the older classes into this, well that would be that fact that as you get older you don’t like being photographed if you’re not prepared.

Even not focused on just the photography aspect, Journalism class this year was a fun elective. The group really bonded and went through it all while making our yearbook. There were also big steps taken in our Journalism group, like one student who was afraid of the camera but then offered to take it while we were photographing classes. To be honest I started quietly cheering in the hallway, or maybe not so quietly, but was told to calm down a little bit.There’s things like that where we encouraged each other to take pictures and make the pages of the yearbook the best we could with what we were given.

To summarize this post, I’d say that I wrote this blog post to give people a glimpse of what I did this year in Journalism class and my experience in photography for the yearbook. Photography didn’t mean that much to me in the beginning of the year before I started working with it and getting comfortable with the camera. I would say the personal growth I experienced in this class was helpful to future wants of taking pictures and to understanding how to use a camera. Hopefully future students working on the yearbook will understand that photography is a huge aspect of making a yearbook and should be taken into higher consideration because it is the pictures that make the page.