For a few years, campers wanting to shoot some formal photography found an opportunity in our Arts & Crafts Department. It was one of many artistic pursuits in that department over the course of a Term.
But in 2017, we decided it was time to have photography stand alone as its own Activity for campers to choose during their Term camp experience. So this past summer we introduced our Photography Department, which included Photography, Photojournalism, and Videography.
If you’ve looked through photos from #Summer2017, chances are, you’ve seen the work of our budding photographers. Lots of their photos ended up on our parent portal! Our amazing staff worked with them on all aspects of this digital art.
Read, Aim, Fire…in a Good Way!
In Photojournalism, the girls learn how to operate digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLR) and gain an understanding of all the functionality that comes with it — from framing and lighting to very technical skills like aperture and shutter speed.
Camp has a few cameras to work with, but campers planning to take Photojournalism are welcome to bring their own. Because these items are valuable, and because they are often Internet-ready, we store them separately from campers’ tent gear.
Campers who take Photojournalism spend part of their activity time traveling around camp capturing the life we lead here and the memories we make. Two common areas of focus are portraits of lovely, smiling faces — aka Happy Campers! — and amazing landscape shots, both things we have no shortage of here at Camp Alleghany!
Our Videography sessions explore camp while learning lots of the same elements needed in Photography — lighting framing, backdrop, scenery — while also tying in to the elements of powerful storytelling — how to capture dramatic, serene, unexpected, vibrant moments, etc.
You’re in the Pictures Now, Kid!
In each Photojournalism aspect, the campers learn to see, and while doing so they capture behind-the-scenes footage of daily camp life.
Using their fact-finding and storytelling skills, camp luminaries like Assistant Camp Director Elizabeth Shreckhise and I — ha ha — and other familiar faces, get interviewed by these budding journalists and filmmakers.
The girls learn the basics of directing and storyboarding. As we move forward with this department, the campers’ training won’t just stay hidden in the confines of their Activity period. Their summer work will ultimately culminate in a video shown to all of camp at the end of each Term. We plan to set it all to classic montage music with the hope that each year’s video will evoke lots of laughter and plenty of “oohs” and “awws” at all of the memories, moments, and mayhem!
The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
The final piece of this department is Photojournalism proper. Girls in this class get a taste of both writing and photography. Among other things, campers interview folks around camp, create polls, write stories (both fiction and nonfiction), and take photos to accompany their work. We plan for each year to end with a wonderfully produced newsletter distributed to all of camp covering each and/or both Terms, and hopefully a couple of entries to this very blog!
With one year under our belt, an already great Activity will only get better and better. Expect camper-written blogs, video tours of camp hosted by ‘Ghany Girls, and even more terrific photos on our website!
Memories of a lifetime are made at Camp Alleghany, and our Photography Department will create the physical mementos to keep those cherished moments fresh on the mind for years to come.
— Casey Tucker, Program Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls