Budding photographers at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Laguna Beach were given their first chance to exhibit their work at the inaugural Image Makers Photography Club Exhibit.
The goal of the program is to enable youth aged 5 to 12 to develop their creativity and cultural awareness through the appreciation of photography.
The program is offered free of charge to all Boys & Girls Clubs of Laguna Beach members at their Main Branch on Laguna Canyon Road.
The group meets weekly and goes on walking tours around town, to the beach and in nature, taking photos and finding “art” that others may not notice. This photography program encourages youth to learn and practice various methods.
The kids’ works were divided into the categories of Digital Photography, Color Process, Black and White Process and Photo Essay.
This is the first step toward a national exhibition for members across the country to participate in the Image Makers Photography Show, sponsored by Circuit City.
Photos selected by three local photographers and graphic designers will be included in a Pacific Regional Photo Contest, and from there, on to the national show.
The winners selected were Jasmine Banks, 6, for “The Fire Safe Card;" Tiana Farhang, 8, for “The Gold Light Bulb;" Alexa Hubbell, 10, for “Eternity;" Zennon Richardson, 10, for “The Surface of the Broken;" Savannah Coinon, 10, for “Tower;" and Nathan Ong, 10, for “Portal.”
Three local photographers and graphic designers from local creative design company Fuze Group viewed the photos at the club prior to the show.
The judges were Christina Aranda, who has a degree in photography and graphic design; Ben North, who is the full time photographer for the company; and Zac Smith, who is the creative director.
The judges commented on many aspects of the children’s creations, including imagery, humor, composition, use of natural light and choice of black and white subjects.
This helped teach the children the language of photography and what comprises an outstanding photo.
The Club’s TLC Branch included their pictures in the show, and had a special field trip to the Main Branch for the opening reception.
Due to space restrictions, the exhibit was only up for the day of the reception, at which children pointed out their favorite pieces and read attached photo essays.
Parents and friends also attended the event, where they partook in refreshments, music and feedback from some of the young members showing off their photos.
“It was wonderful to see all of the children so interested and impressed with their fellow club members’ talent and ability to take amazing pictures,” said club Art Director Emily Murray.
Many of these club members will continue in the Photo Club, Murray said, and will use what they have learned to create next year’s works.
In addition to the weekly sessions during the school year, there will be a 9-week session of the program this summer at no additional cost to club members.
For more information about Boys & Girls Clubs programs, call Program Director Susie Hird at (949) 494-2535, ext. 105.