My Awesome Experience with Edward Hand Middle School Students

PREFACE: I feel like I just woke up. It's suddenly embarrassing to say, but this post has been sitting in my drafts since May 4th of last year. For some reason I felt that this post was really poorly executed--enough so that I never bothered to actually post it which is nonsense and kind of selfish on my part. It's the classic arrogant artist's attempt at perfection. And that's crap. Perfect doesn't even exist, and DONE is way more important. This post is about an incredible opportunity and experience I was blessed to have with some really, really cool people, and it ought to be shared, dangit! Anyways...

Recently (now last year) I was approached by Exit Lancaster, a program that reaches middle and high school students through some innovative and engaging learning opportunities. They wanted me to give a five class crash course on photography to a group of Edward Hand Middle School 7th grade students. Part of me loved the idea, but it also scared the crap out of me. I had never considered teaching before, and I just imagined a bunch of slick middle school kids straight up eating me alive. But dodging such an opportunity for the sake of hiding in my comfortable bubble sounds pretty lame, so I hopped on board.

The whole thing was fantastic. The kids were so cool and some of them really lit up and ran with what they were learning. I visited the school for the first four classes, spanning across two weeks. On the final day, the students came to Hingework, where we got to have some fun in the studio. Below are the photos from that day. There's a life in these kids eyes that I seldom see in my portraits of grown-ups. Let's learn something.


We also got the teacher to jump in. Introducing Miss Liz Yocom.

The students then put me in the hot seat and took my picture as well. I had a hard time cooperating.

Finally, my personal favorites - the squad.

If you would like to find out more about Exit Lancaster (more recently Advantage Lancaster) and the amazing things they do for kids, click here !