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Community Through Photography

By Greg ’22

As a sophomore at Harvard-Westlake, one of my favorite classes was photography. When looking through the lens of a camera, you are able to frame the world in a way which reflects your innermost feelings. Whether my goal was to bring focus to the beauty of Harvard-Westlake’s Middle School campus or present the ordinary in a thought-provoking way, the power of photography allowed me to represent my emotions through art. Right after math class, this ability to escape the confines of academic rigor gave me room to reflect and carefully consider the day’s plans.

Another really great aspect of photography was the creativity it inspired. As I roamed around campus, searching for the perfect spot to take photos, I could examine colors and shapes like never before. In most of my core classes, each assignment accompanied a set of requirements. Whether it was font size, page limit, or content, traditional assignments were to be completed in a way that conformed to the norm. Turning this process on its head, photography promoted unconventional productivity. Instead of being tasked with a certain range of photos, we were allotted time to be creative and give life to the work we produced.

Furthermore, photography supplied some much needed fun! If I had to detail all the incredibly entertaining and hilarious moments my classmates and I shared, I wouldn’t be able to—there are simply too many to count. Even as my friends and I completed rather mundane tasks, like preparing our portfolios or editing on the computer, the class’s inclusive environment made everyone feel like they were a part of a team.

Being a student in photography at HW wasn’t defined by the quality of the camera or the size of the lens, but instead by the incredible sense of community and accomplishment that each day brought. It was the support of my teacher that lifted everyone’s spirits and taught us that photography is a collective effort. Through photography, I came to realize that creativity can come when alone, but it’s when you’re with others who encourage you that your true imagination shines.

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Tags: , , , Last modified: September 23, 2021