Capturing the moment: CYC youth explore photography

 Youth participating in the new photography program at CYC-Elliott Donnelley Youth Center.

Youth participating in the new photography program at CYC-Elliott Donnelley Youth Center.

Lights, cameras, action! Thanks to a generous grant from NBCUniversal Foundation and fundraising efforts from CYC Board Chair Dan Feeney’s son Will, the CYC Maker Studio at CYC-Elliott Donnelley Center was launched this summer and a new photography program was introduced.

Because interest was so high, students competed for a spot to participate, said CYC Arts & Innovation Coordinator Monica Wizgird.

“Students wrote persuasive essays to get a spot in the program,” said Monica. “It was pretty competitive and their essays were awesome, so deciding the final roster was a tough call.”

For example, Mackenzie, one of the chosen participants, wrote that she wants to join the class so she can teach photography to her family and that she believes it can help with some of her other classes and clubs.

“I love joining something new or that I have never tried before,” Mackenzie wrote. “This is why I want to be in this class.”

Over the summer, the selected six participants learned about the history of photography, how to operate Canon DSLR cameras, how to work the various equipment in the Maker Studio (iMacs, Canon DSLR cameras, photo/film accessories including lighting tripods and 14-foot paper roll backdrops that can be pulled down from the ceiling and retracted easily, microphones, and other music gear).

At the end of the pilot program, students created a portfolio and acted as both the photographer and as models for one another. It has been exciting watching a new generation of budding photographers blossom!