Photograph by Christian Figueroa
In partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia and Drexel University, National Geographic Photo Camp staff traveled to the City of Brotherly Love from October 7 to 10, 2011, to mentor 22 students on photographic storytelling. The students were assigned to document their perspectives of both familiar and unfamiliar parts of Philadelphia through photography and writing. Photo Camp Philadelphia 2011 was led by photographers Lynn Johnson, Jay Kinghorn, and Piper Watson, as well as NG staffers Todd James, Stacy Gold, and local volunteers Charles Oliva, Mike Arrison, Tyler Haughey, and Colleen Gilligan.
Boys and Girls Club members from all over Philadelphia were invited to participate in the Photo Camp.
Teenager Through Glass
Photograph by Dimerha "Dotty" Brown
Using the Drexel University campus as a home base, students were asked to explore their surroundings photographically.
Photograph by Iyana Jackson
Photo Camp Philadelphia lead photographer Lynn Johnson worked with students on finding the right vantage point for their images and waiting for the proper elements to move into the frame.
Student in a Red Jacket
Photograph by Denny Justiniano
Photo Camp students practiced portraiture with each other before venturing out into a street setting.
Photograph by Branden Edwards
Self-portraits were often an interesting way for Photo Camp students to explore various aspects of photography, including light, color, and gesture.
Photograph by Maleika K. Ogilvie
Drexel University hosted the Photo Camp in partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia. Many Drexel employees allowed the young photographers to talk with them and take their portraits.
Student and Circles
Photograph by Gemanael Parks
Photo Camp students learned variations of portraiture and how to place a subject within a frame.
Photograph by Dominiek Johnson
Encouraged to take their cameras home each night during Photo Camp, students were tasked with documenting their own neighborhoods.
Photograph by Maura Tezik
The neighborhoods in West Philadelphia provided a colorful array of people and places to photograph, helping to teach students about photographic storytelling.
Photograph by Christyona Grier
Using color and composition, student Christyona Grier made a unique portrait using detail.
Dog in a Park
Photograph by Quadair Bradley
Photo Camp student Quadair Bradley found dogs to be very difficult to photograph—until he got down to their level.
Photograph by Tracey Riley
West Philadelphia's Clark Park Farmers Market is more than just seasonal produce and goods: A tiny circus includes aerial artists who use the bough of a large tree to perform for shoppers.
Portrait of a Young Woman
Photograph by Allen Lark
Photo Camp students practiced capturing emotion and fleeting moments in a still image.
Photograph by Jamyra Harper
Photo Camp students learned to use detail images to tell visual stories.
Photograph by Cesar Perez
The Clark Park Farmers Market made a lively backdrop for Photo Camp students practicing composition in storytelling.
Portrait of Dotty Brown
Photograph by Kiera King
An exercise in quality of light allowed student Kiera King to make this side-lit portrait of fellow student Dotty Brown.
Photograph by Christian Justiniano
During Photo Camp, students were taught a visual vocabulary for storytelling that includes composition and leading lines.
Little Boy and Leaf
Photograph by Kyarea Smith
West Philadelphia on a Saturday is filled with all walks of life and provided a great opportunity for Photo Camp students to practice making portraits of people they had just met.
Portrait of Allen Lark
Photograph by Meghan Tezik
Photo Camp Philadelphia student Meghan Tezik considered color and light when making this portrait of fellow student Allen Lark.
Photograph by Marquan Royster
For student Marquan Royster, skateboarders at Clark Park made for a great exercise in shooting action images.
Photograph by Meijah Brown
Photo Camp student Meijah Brown used the playground at Clark Park Farmers Market to practice visual storytelling.
Food Truck Vendor
Photograph by Mariah Peal
Food trucks have long been a staple of urban life in Philadelphia, and vendors played a key part in the photo-portrait of Philadelphia that Photo Camp students were assigned to capture.