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Ypsilanti education

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Photography Challenge at The Learning Studio: Graphic Recording

I had been wanting to experiment with various mediums including paper type and markers (I found out Sharpie paint markers are not as brilliant as I'd hoped). And, I was itching to do an illustration for myself, to market my skills and have differentiating photos on social media. But then I thought about how flat my photos of the recordings can be sometimes. I wanted fresh eyes on how to approach photographing the work. A-ha! I know where to find emerging photographers!

Nick's classroom at Ypsilanti Community High School is also known as The Learning Studio, an experimental commercial photography studio where students in grades 9-12 learn technical and conceptual photography skills. Being in its first year, Nick and the students have made some impressive progress (including two of his students, Davinique Powell and Jenae Gonzalez, winning Best Photo at the recent Potential Art Exhibit at the teen center, Neutral Zone!)  

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I introduced the following challenge to the students over two days: to create a cohesive marketing photo campaign of 3-5 images of the following graphic recording using any method of lighting and including any props or people they chose. The only other criteria being judged was teamwork. The latter proved to be more challenging for larger classes, understandably, but I was utterly impressed by the initiative and knowledge of many students in each and every class. The winning class receives full credit for the photos on social media, mention in an upcoming lifestyle blog I'm being interviewed for and choice of a pizza or donut party, which is, of course, where I heard the "yeaaaahhh"s and excitement.

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Detroit graphic recorder Yen Azzaro

All the classes had phenomenal ideas and some had more innovative concepts, but in terms of sound photography and extraordinary teamwork skills...

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I'm psyched to announce the winning class is 3rd hour (B)!!! They not only brainstormed before jumping into the work, they collectively came up with the most variety of images and made sure everyone was involved in some aspect of the process. Congratulations, Ana, Abbie, Britney, Britthani, Gabe, Jonatan, Lynda, Marcus, Owen, and Rochelle!

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826 on Washington Street

Over the weekend we had the chance to host a pretty awesome shindig. Our friends at 826michigan had a jam-packed weekend of programming including a pajama part at Literati Bookstore and big things for 826 going on in Detroit...

The volunteers of 826, the ones that tutor, listen, travel, edit, and work with kids are the muscle of this organization we love so much. We hosted a small breakfast gathering Saturday morning and we got to meet founder of McSweeney's (original publisher of 826 Valencia) and writer, Dave Eggers. 

It's a good-looking bunch, don't you think? 

The end of the year is always vitally important to the health of organizations like 826michigan so won't you please consider supporting all the work these beautiful people do through volunteering or donation? Thanks so much :) 

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