Carroll High School Photography teacher hosts photography workshops

By Vanessa Gibson, Staff Writer


   Carroll High School Photography teacher Nicole Croy is hosting three different photography workshops for elementary school and middle school students, as well as adults, the weekend of March 25 and 26. These photography workshops are a fundraising event that helps support Carroll’s photography program.

   All three workshops will take place at Carroll High School in Croy’s room – room 300. The adult workshop will be held on Friday, March 25, from 6 to 9 p.m., the elementary workshop will be held on Saturday, March 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, and the middle school workshop will be held on Saturday, March 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.

   The camera-less workshop for elementary school students will allow children to explore the photography technique: photogram. Photogram is camera-less because pictures are not created by using a camera, instead they are produced using different photographic supplies, such as light-sensitive paper.      

   Students will go through different piles of items, looking for the perfect objects to lie onto photo paper and create some type of unusual composition. They are then able to develop the design into a photograph in the darkroom.

   The objects they are looking through are transparent, translucent, or opaque; Croy encourages the students to have a balance of all three. This way, Croy is able to talk to students about the elements and principles of art and how to make a good design based on composition and balance.

   Croy wants each student to be successful in the outcome of their photograph, which is why she chose to teach the children photogram. According to Croy, photogram is one of the easiest photography techniques.

   “I love teaching the elementary kids,” Croy said, “just because they come in and they are so naïve and have no idea what they are doing, and they wear light-up shoes that I have to tape because there is no light allowed in the darkroom.”

   Even though photogram is one of the simplest forms of photography, every year Croy sees students create amazing images that one day could be entered into the Scholastics Art and Writing Competition.

   “Their [elementary students’] work ends up being so cool and so much more than just putting junk on a piece of paper,” Croy said. “They are figuring out designs and patterns and stories.”

   The middle school workshop is a pinhole workshop, where students will construct their own camera out of a tin can, learn how to shoot with that camera, and then produce images that evening based off of the camera that they built. This tends to be the busiest out of all the workshops, as well as the most complex.

  Croy understood that pinhole is a more sensitive project, and knew that it would not be suitable for the younger elementary school kids. She felt as if the middle schoolers would have the patience to make a pinhole camera and go through a three hour developing process.

   Students who partake in the pinhole workshop can submit their work into the Scholastics Art and Writing Competition. According to Croy, every year students who have taken the workshop enter their pinhole photographs and end up winning awards.

   Croy believes that this is a cool way to build up a portfolio, especially if you know at a young age that you are interested in art and photography. 

   The adult workshop is also a photogram workshop, however it is more advanced and goes into much more depth about the different techniques used.  For the first photogram the class does together, Croy will say “grab any junk” and then they will begin to put different objects onto their paper and make a print. Then Croy will begin to talk with them about deeper significance and how you create meaning within.

    “So all of a sudden it goes from easy and then ten minutes later you create a story,” Croy said.

   The adult workshop usually is made up of teachers, specifically art teachers. Croy estimates that on average the class consists of half art teachers and then the other half are people from the community.

   Croy finds this dynamic of the class to be interesting; she recognizes that the teachers who sign up want to take inspiration from the ideas that she shares and then incorporate them back into their own classroom. In fact, Croy finds this workshop to be the most rewarding, because she loves that they are taking the knowledge she gives them and passing it along.

   These workshops cost $35 per person, this fee usually gives participants some sort of snack or dinner and then all of the supplies needed for the class.

   “We provide all of the materials so the students just show up ready to work and ready to be creative,” Croy said.

   Croy encourages those of all ages to come to the workshops and explore their creativity. She wants to remind everyone that these workshop assignments are not for a grade, they are for one’s own personal satisfaction.

   “In the end I want them to know that we all can be creative,” Croy said. “And I want them to be able to explore and create without fear of being judged and making mistakes.”

   Spots in these classes are still available for anyone who would like to sign up. Sign up information is available on Carroll High School’s website.