Category Archives: volunteer

critical exposure: picture equality.

empowerment through photography.

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last night’s critical exposure fundraiser was a fantastic success! i was so excited to attend their fotoweek reception and was thrilled to be among the 40+ amazing photographers that contributed images to the silent auction. it was an inspiring evening and i was truly honored to speak to guests about my experiences working with the organization over the last year. critical exposure is amazing and i feel so lucky to be part of such an outstanding group of dedicated individuals that are making such a difference in the lives of dc students. enjoy this glimpse of the evening and check out the links below to learn more about the work critical exposure is doing and my experiences in the classroom!

wish you could have attended to support this incredible non-profit? no worries – click HERE to make a donation or EMAIL me about sponsorship opportunities :)

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MLK photo student DeMarco did a great job speaking to guests!

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LOVE that a soldier won the “bidding war” on the canvas i contributed to the auction – moody monument!

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and what fun is fotoweek without a fotobooth? me + photographer michael bennett kress.

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critical exposure :: the power of photography

critical exposure :: gallery opening!

critical exposure :: in the classroom!

critical exposure :: photo students!

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Filed under art, dc, education, me, photography, photojournalism, volunteer

critical exposure: photo students!

dc elementary students develop an eye for photography.

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yesterday i had another wonderful experience working with critical exposure – my absolute favorite educational organization in dc! currently they are partnering with cameras for kids, a fotoweek dc program, to conduct a school-based workshop at martin luther king elementary school. i was so excited to visit MLK and talk with the students about photography, discuss the techniques they are learning, and answer questions about being a photographer! we spent half of the time in the classroom looking at images and going over techniques, and the the other half walking around the neighborhood taking photos! the students took turns on both sides of the camera – everyone seemed as excited about modeling as they did about shooting – it was fantastic. in preparation for developing a photo essay, they worked on experimenting with different points of view, looking for leading lines, and thinking about the rule of thirds. i was so impressed with everything they have learned and how anxious they were to put it all into practice. i demonstrated a few of my techniques when shooting and had a total blast with them!

enjoy!

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critical exposure :: the power of photography

critical exposure :: gallery opening!

critical exposure :: in the classroom!

critical exposure :: photo students!

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Filed under children, dc, education, photography, volunteer

critical exposure: in the classroom!

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i love critical exposure! i had the privilege of attending another class with the amazing jahi wise + emma nolan-abrahamian, to speak to their students about photography! this summer critical exposure is working with the higher achievement program in dc. as an elective, the photography class is the last period of the school day and lasts about one hour. on wednesday i talked with the students about portraits and they tried their hand at using digital SLRs – many for the very first time!

the kids, 5th-8th graders, partnered up and broke into little photog teams – taking turns being photographers and models! i snapped away the entire period, giving pointers and ideas to the students, reminding them to look through the camera (not just at the back like regular point + shoots!) and encouraged them to zoom in, get close, and interact with their subjects. earlier that week they learned about environmental portraits and will be working on that over the course of the class. they are also learning about composition, technique and lighting, and will even be constructing pin-hole cameras next week! so cool.

for more on critical exposure click HERE.

enjoy!

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jahi wise, one of the amazing instructors!

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the entire class!

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critical exposure :: the power of photography

critical exposure :: gallery opening!

critical exposure :: in the classroom!

critical exposure :: photo students!

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Filed under children, dc, photography, volunteer

troy: littlest heroes project session!

a little hero + his family!

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last weekend i had the opportunity to document another session for the littlest heroes project! i’m honored to be a part of this amazing organization and was so excited to meet troy + his family! i spent the morning at their home watching troy + his big sister mya playing all their favorite games – mr potatoe head, bubbles, swinging, reading books, and more!

troy is a happy, loving little 2 year old boy who was recently diagnosed with autism. his family is working to learn everything they can about this terrible disease and are making sure that troy gets all the attention he needs to grow, learn and thrive. he is very lucky to have such amazing parents who love him so much, and a big sister who loves helping take care of him :)

my favorite photo is the one of troy laughing with his dad – his parents know exactly what makes him the happiest and his smile is so gorgeous. i’m very thankful to have met this amazing little boy and his inspiring family – enjoy!

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bubbles!

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happy family!

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itsy bitsy spider :)

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critical exposure.

the power of photography.

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dc student photographer msugh checks out a DSLR.

last week i had the opportunity to work with the amazing critical exposure/S.T.E.P. up dc photography project! along with a number of local photographers, i attended one of the after school sessions and was so impressed with the program. guest photographers were matched up one-on-one with student photographers to discuss photography, brainstorm story ideas and help them to develop their projects focusing on the dropout crisis in dc public high schools. the students are exploring topics like teen pregnancy, homelessness, gangs and other factors that potentially cause students to drop out of school.

one of the main goals of the program is to help students + organizations advocate more effectively for excellence in education. specifically, this program is encouraging the students to explore and document the grave issues facing their peers and hopefully shed some light and understanding on why so many teens are dropping out of school. currently, only about 50% of public school students in dc stay in school and graduate. by trying to understand the cause of the crisis these photography students are tackling some deep social issues. i think that teaching students photography as a force of change is absolutely brilliant and i can’t wait to see their final projects!

“by empowering young people to develop skills as documentary photographers and advocates, we expose citizens and policymakers to the realities of our current two-tiered education system as seen through the eyes of the students who confront those realities each day.” – critical exposure

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critical exposure :: the power of photography

critical exposure :: gallery opening!

critical exposure :: in the classroom!

critical exposure :: photo students!

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mateo: littlest heroes session.

hello mateo!

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i was so excited to meet mateo + his family last weekend for my very first littlest heroes project session! the session was exactly the same as any of my lifestyle sessions – i spent the morning playing with mateo, letting him show me his favorite toys, his star wars bedroom, his awesome swing set, and of course, his amazing spiderman moves! talk about a superhero! although mateo is struggling with developmental disabilities, his shining personality, capacity for laughter + love, and ability to make everyone around him smile are far advanced! he is a very sweet 4 years old who loves to color, loves trucks, has a wild and active imagination, and is very loved by his incredible parents.

enjoy!

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mateo was officially the first person to use the new MKII!

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mateo’s self portrait! 

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so expressive!

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mateo showing off his spiderman moves!

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very spiderman-esque!

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the littlest heroes project.

teaming up with a very worthy cause.

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i’m very excited to announce that i have just been accepted as one of the photographers for the littlest heroes project! i am proud to join forces with an amazing team of photographers who donate their time + talents to this worthy organization. the littlest heroes project is a non-profit organization that matches photographers with families of children suffering from serious illnesses and/or life altering disabilities. through complimentary photo sessions, the project aims to capture the happiness + love of the children and their families – showing the children that they are true heroes to so many people! the project honors their bravery and their struggle by sharing their inspirational stories + photos with the world. 

a huge thanks to natalie franke (an amazing young woman and very passionate photographer!) for sharing this organization with me and inspiring me to join!

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