critical exposure: picture equality.

empowerment through photography.


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 :)




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




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



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

picture equality.

supporting artistic empowerment.


critical exposure is a fantastic organization doing absolutely amazing work in local schools. please consider joining me november 12th as i help to host this vitally important fundraiser – learn more about the students, their work, and the amazing people behind the scenes, while enjoying food + wine and the opportunity to bid on fantastic photographs! what could be better than supporting artistic empowerment while having a great evening? i hope to see you there!

info on the event is below, as well as links to my experiences with critical exposure. you can purchase tickets by clicking here or email me for sponsorship opportunities!

Auction Invite blog

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links to my recent work with critical exposure!

critical exposure :: the power of photography

critical exposure :: gallery opening!

critical exposure :: in the classroom!

critical exposure :: photo students!

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critical exposure: photo students!

dc elementary students develop an eye for photography.


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!















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critical exposure :: the power of photography

critical exposure :: gallery opening!

critical exposure :: in the classroom!

critical exposure :: photo students!


Filed under children, dc, education, photography, volunteer

critical exposure: in the classroom!


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.


jahi wise, one of the amazing instructors!











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!


Filed under children, dc, photography, volunteer

critical exposure: gallery opening.

DC students exhibit their photography work.


last week i attended critical exposure’s “through the lens of DC youth” photography exhibit at the ARTiculate gallery. i recently posted about my experience working with critical exposure, and was very excited to see the students’ work on display. i was so impressed with their willingness to tackle serious issues and their ability to capture them with such great perspective. the images + words throughout the exhibit focused on a clear message – only about half of dc students graduate from high school, and a small fraction of that number pursue a college degree. the photography students not only documented the causes + consequences surrounding the dropout crisis, but also sought possible solutions to the problem. topics covered ranged from violence, to school programs, to drugs  alcohol, gangs, teen pregnancy, and despair. the students worked within their own communities and schools, sharing what they saw and using their cameras to give an glimpse into the dropout crisis.

i would encourage everyone to visit the exhibit – it is a fantastic opportunity to truly look through someone else’s eyes. there is an educational crisis happening in our city, and all over the country, and while the statistics are shocking, these images portray a reality that is far more unsettling. i found that the true power of the photographs lay in their ability to make me question how children are supposed to deal with such situations. how are they to succeed in environments where gangs and violence are prevalent? where classrooms are in disrepair and school is not a safe place? their photographs take you into their world and allow you to see and feel what they see and feel. i believe these images are a call to action, and a challenge. who will act on behalf of our youth? who will help secure a better future?

get involved :: criticalexposure.org







i was surprised and excited to see this image i took of my student, msugh, on display at the exhibit!

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critical exposure :: the power of photography

critical exposure :: gallery opening!

critical exposure :: in the classroom!

critical exposure :: photo students!


Filed under children, dc, news, photography, photojournalism

critical exposure.

the power of photography.

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!


Filed under me, photography, volunteer