I design curriculum and teach photography and digital media in New York City public schools as a teaching artist for Marquis Studios and Magic Box Productions. Most of the students I work with have very few opportunities to learn or practice visual art or other creative endeavors. I design programs that give them opportunities to learn not just photography but also confidence, an interest in creative self expression, collaboration and teamwork, the ability to articulate ideas, and digital media problem solving.

Photography Residencies for Schools (2016 - 2018)

Documentary Photography—with Marquis Studios: Fourth and fifth grade students in a low-lying Staten Island neighborhood still recovering from Hurricane Sandy used digital photography to learn more about the neighborhood surrounding their school. They photographed and interviewed subjects at local businesses and institutions including the local bakery, police station, fruit store, library and a food pantry founder who lost his home in Hurricane Sandy. Students wrote about their experiences and displayed their photographs and writing in a final exhibition.

Through My Eyes—with Magic Box Productions: Fifth and sixth grade students from two separate French dual language public school programs traveled to each others' schools and partnered to learn digital photography. Students studied the work of French-speaking master photographers including Henri Cartier-Bresson, traveled to Central Park to practice photographing the “decisive moment,” and prepared their photographs for a final photography show, writing artist statements in both French and English.

Photography Inspired by Asian Art and Culture—with Magic Box Productions: Sixth grade students in a multi-Asian school in Queens made digital photographs inspired by design principles and subject matter found in both ancient and modern Japanese and Chinese art. They photographed at a local Buddhist temple and Korean garden, and prepared mounted photographs and written statements.

Building a digital camera

Building a digital camera

Building a Digital Camera—with Magic Box Productions: Tenth and eleventh grade English Language Learners built digital Bigshot cameras in an after-school program on the Lower East Side, exploring STEM concepts including light refraction, power generation and electronic vs. mechanical camera components. Students used the cameras they built to experiment with 3D and wide angle photography.


Workshops: Photography for Social Change                                              

Photographs are a powerful tool that have at times changed the course of history. In this workshop-style class for teens 13-18, students will study photographs that have changed the world and their historical context, including images of World War II and the liberation of the concentration camps,  the Vietnam war, integration of schools in the 1950s, civil rights protests in the 60s, and modern examples of photographs that have dramatically changed public opinion.

Photography students collaborate

Photography students collaborate

Students will pick a topic they’re passionate about (could be animal welfare, racial/ gender equality, a local issue in their community or whatever topic is meaningful to them) and will collaborate as a class to create photographs, posters, flyers, blogs and Facebook pages that visually impact the viewer and raise awareness on the issue. Students will gain a diverse set of media skills including improving their digital photography, editing photographs, using graphic design to create printed pieces, and customizing blogs. They’ll gain insight into how issues are portrayed in public media, and how to use digital tools to reach a broader audience. There will be several field trips to photograph and to view a photography show, and student work will be on view at Different Directions. Students should have some previous experience with photography, and a digital single lens reflex, mirrorless or compact camera, or good-quality cell phone camera. (Ages 13 – 18). Offered at Different Directions.

Photography class in the East Village -- Photo by Katie Wenger

Photography class in the East Village -- Photo by Katie Wenger