“Photography helped me see my life and my neighborhood differently. I want to be a cop so I can make my neighborhood a better place, but I still want to take pictures.” Manuel, 16 years old- Graduate of the Ennis Beley Photography Project.
The Ennis Beley Photography Project is named in memory of an exceptionally gifted young photographer from South Central Los Angeles who discovered photography at the age of eleven and was killed in a drive-by shooting when he was only 15. Inspired by his story, this multi-week summer project, which teaches the art of photography, takes adolescents from urban areas on a creative and educational journey to discover and explore their creative talents and abilities while developing essential life and professional skills. Professional photographers lead students through the process of understanding digital photography as well as creating their own personal work for exhibition. The project culminates with a public exhibit of the students’ work for families, friends and the community.
This year, the program is taking place in Newark at the Marion P. Thomas Charter School. Students learn how to use a digital camera and use photo editing software, learn the history of photography, how to make a cyanotype and go on a field trip to experience and photograph nature. Lead teaching artist and professional photographer Will Ortega guides students through this 3 week program as the learn about the different photography concepts, create a portfolio of their work and select images for their exhibition in the fall.
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