Brooklin Students Find A Niche As SHUTTERBUGS

 By James Straub


GRAND-PRIZE WINNER, GRADES 5-8
BY ASHLEY HIGGINS, GRADE 7
 


“I would like to
take more pictures.
I think it’s going
to be neat to experiment.

—Ashley Higgins


 
GRAND-PRIZE WINNER, GRADES K-4
BY ANTHONY BIANCO, GRADE 2
 


“I was surprised. I was happy I was called, so I get one of  those cameras.”
—Anthony Bianco

 



HENRY SULLIVAN, GRADE 5
DIGITAL, GRADES 5-8


“GABRIEL ALLEN” BY KARA STROUT, GRADE 8
PORTRAITS, GRADES 5-8


“PAUL BRAGTON HAULING A BOAT” BY KEENAN HILSINGER, GRADE 2, TRANSPORTATION, GRADES K-4


“BRYAN WITH FOXES” BY GREG ALLEN, GRADE 3
WORK, GRADES K-4


ADAM STROUT, GRADE 7
FREE EXPRESSION, GRADES 5-8


HANNAH HASKELL, GRADE 8
ANIMALS, GRADES 5-8


NOLAN ELLSWORTH, GRADE 3
ANIMALS, GRADES K-4


“MARIE LOUISE” BY JOSEPH BOULET, KINDERGARTEN
PORTRAITS, GRADES K-4


BY ANNE PERT, GRADE 5
NATURE, GRADES 5-8


“BILL EATON AND CROCKER NEVIN” BY CATHERINE NEVIN, GRADE 1, ARCHITECTURE, GRADE K-4


“THE GAZEBO AT THE LOOKOUT” BY MISHA JOHN, GRADE 5, ARCHITECTURE, GRADES 5-8


ADAM STROUT, GRADE 7
TRANSPORTATION, GRADES 5-8


BY JACOB COLE, GRADE 2
NATURE, GRADES K-4


MARIAH BLODGETT, GRADE 5
WORK, GRADES 5-8


BRIONNA BLODGETT, GRADE 2
FREE EXPRESSION, GRADES K-4

Give each of 67 students a 27-shot disposable camera then turn them loose, and the law of averages would guarantee at least one or two good pictures.

Give the same students some instruction before sending them off, however, and the number of good pictures coming back increases dramatically.

That’s what teachers and local professionals discovered with a series of “Keephoto Workshops” given to all students at the Brooklin School recently.

Students impressed the local community with the results of the photo workshops, not only with scores of good photographs, but also with dozens of truly great shots.

“All the judges agree there were a lot of great photographs here,” said Mitchell Baum, a professional photographer, attending an all-school assembly Monday. “It was a great idea, and I hope it continues.”

The idea came from Brenda Haskell, a parent of a student at the Brooklin School.

Haskell donated $1,000 to help fund the project.

She said that if you provide students with tools, cameras in this case, give them incentive, such as a contest, and guide them with workshops, “they are going to amaze you.”

“And they did,” she said.

Haskell said the name of the project, Keephoto Workshops, resulted from her wish to donate copies of the students’ photographs to the Brooklin Keeping Society.

Teacher Allen Cole said gifts and discounted prices from Wal-Mart for film, developing and other services allowed the project to be completed with the initial donation from Haskell.

Haskell, Cole and several others who spoke at the school assembly said they hope the program continues in subsequent years.

The project started after Haskell presented school officials with her idea and offered the funding. A committee of teachers, parents and photography and graphics professionals from Brooklin then planned the workshops and contest.

Each student received a disposable camera at the start of the workshops taught by local professionals. Some students bought additional disposable cameras or used their own 35-millimeter and digital cameras to complete the project.

After attending various workshops that involved basic instruction in using cameras and specific workshops for different kinds of cameras, students were sent out to photograph their world. They were given no further instruction, only a list of categories in which they could enter photos.

Their work was judged by a panel of local professionals, including Mitchell Baum, Ellen Booraem, Blythe Heepe, Marian McMahon, Jeryl Schriever and Sherry Streeter.

“I was blown away by the quality of the pictures,” said Principal David Sullivan at the close of Monday’s assembly.

“You guys are awesome,” Haskell told the students. “I told you I couldn’t wait to see your pictures, and I am not disappointed.”

First-place, second-place and honorable mention photos in several categories were displayed during the assembly.

As the winning photos were displayed, Baum explained why judges had considered them among the best, adding that the decisions were not always unanimous, but always difficult.

“I look at this group and remember all the judges were in agreement that we had a lot of great pictures,” Baum said of the entries from kindergarten through fourth-graders in the “transportation” category. “But we didn’t always agree on the order. There were some fierce arguments.”

There was agreement among teachers, community members and students when it came to whether the workshops and contest should be repeated next year.

When Sullivan asked, “how many of you want to do this again next year,” every student in the school immediately raised a hand in support of continuing the project.

Ashley Higgins, who won the grand-prize digital camera in the fifth- through eighth-grade division, definitely will be taking photographs in the future, now that she has the benefit of knowledge learned in the workshops and from other sources during the project.

“My great aunt [Brenda Means] taught me about framing,” she said. “I would like to take more pictures. I think it’s going to be neat to experiment.”

Anthony Bianco, the grand-prize winner among the lower grades, wasn’t so sure about the educational benefits, but he was definite about the experience being fun.

“I was surprised,” he said about being named winner of the grand prize. “I was happy I was called, so I get one of those cameras.”

First-place winners in each category received three disposable cameras and a coupon for one free film developing. Second-place winners received two disposable cameras and a film developing coupon, and honorable mentions in each category received one camera and a coupon.

Grand-prize winners received a digital camera and camera battery charger.

Haskell said she was greatly impressed by the school when she and her daughters moved to Brooklin three years ago, partly because “the school provides so many exceptional opportunities for hands-on learning outside the classroom.”

She said she made the donation for the program in memory of her mother and her grandmother who got her involved with children, creativity and photography.

“It was a chance to reach every child in the school,” she said. “It was a real community effort. The professionals came into the school, and the students went out in the community. I’ve seen places in Brooklin [in photos] that I’ve yet to see.”

Students in separate age divisions received first-place and second-place awards in various categories. Several students received honorable mention awards in the same categories.

Grand prize
K-4 Anthony Bianco
5-8 Ashley Higgins

Animals
K-4
Nolan Ellsworth, first
Gracie Hylan, second
5-8
Hannah Haskell, first
Adam Strout, second

Architecture
K-4
Catherine Nevin, first
Brenna Hutchinson, second
5-8
Misha John, first
Hannah Haskell, second

Nature
K-4
Jacob Cole, first
Nolan Ellsworth, second
5-8
Anne Pert, first
Christina Courtot, second

Portraits
K-4
Joseph Boulet, first
Hannah Billings, second
5-8
Kara Strout, first
Sosha Sullivan, second

Transportation
K-4
Keenan Hilsinger, first
Mia Vierthaler, second
5-8
Adam Strout, first
Anne Pert, second

Work
K-4
Greg Allen, first
Brenna Hutchinson, second
5-8
Mariah Blodgett, first
Monica Gray, second

Free Expression
K-4
Brionna Blodgett, first
Catherine Nevin, second
5-8
Adam Strout, first
Hannah Mendlowitz, second

Digital
5-8
Henry Sullivan, first
Henry Sullivan, second

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