NORWICH — The fall session of The Place's teen photography workshop has wrapped up, and photos taken by Chenango County teenagers are now on display at Tabryn's Marketplace/The Cottage Bakery, located at 17 South Broad Street in Norwich.
Participating teens spent six weeks with facilitator Jill Kraft learning about cityscape and portrait photography, and how to operate the manual settings of a camera, such as f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO.
The Place Teen Program Coordinator Julie Dealing also said the workshops are a great opportunity for local teens to try something new, develop new friendships, and gain confidence.
"I think that this gives kids from different backgrounds opportunities to be able to come together, meet each other, build positive relationships, and also understand that they have strengths that maybe they haven’t identified yet," she said. "Obviously we have technology and smart phones and stuff, so people are taking pictures all the time. But for them to have the opportunity for Jill to really teach them the different settings and the lighting and the actual camera portion, I just think it’s great."
Photography is also an outlet for creative expression, and Dealing said it can help youth learn how to express what they're feeling or as an outlet to process emotions.
"It is an art, so there is no right or wrong way. Obviously there’s like technicalities with everything, but it’s whatever makes them feel good and however they want to showcase their emotions or how this particular thing made them feel," said Dealing. "So I think it’s just a really good coping skill for kids to learn, a good hobby, outlet, whatever."
Dealing said participating teens also get excited for the gallery show to close out the sessions, where they get to show the community what they've learned and also have a chance to win their own camera.
"They’re always so excited for this part, to be able to showcase to the community that this is what they’re doing, show them all the potential they can have in the future," she said.
The teen photography workshop are held multiple times a year, and Kraft said she hopes to hold the next session in the spring. The classes are open to teenagers aged 13 to 19 who attend Chenango County school districts.
Dealing said she hopes to branch the program out further into the county as well, to make the classes more accessible to all Chenango County teens.
"I’m hoping in the spring to maybe venture into other towns for photography class, too. Maybe have more kids from other towns in the county, because we get people from New Berlin, Oxford, Sherburne, but I’m hoping to reach out a little bit further. And then that gives us new things to take pictures of," she said.
The teen photography workshops are made possible by the generosity of a private donor.
Those who would like to support The Place and their programming can do so by purchasing a holiday wreath for $35 or poinsettia plant for $15. Tickets are available for purchase at The Place, The Cottage Bakery, or from a The Place board member.
The tickets can then be redeemed for a wreath or poinsettia at Pires Flower Basket, located at 216 North Broad Street in Norwich. Purchases must be picked up by December 15.
For more information on future teen photography workshops, and other programs available at The Place, visit ThePlaceNorwich.com or The Place Facebook page.