School Programs, 2016–2017
Residencies, Workshops, Personalized Gallery and Darkroom Tours, Digital Photography, and Literacy Workshops
It’s never too early to spark an interest in photography and film. That’s why The Light Factory offers programming to schools throughout the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. Our photography workshops and residencies are engaging, innovative, and hands-on. We can send guest artists into your classroom, or provide onsite gallery tours and darkroom experiences. In fact, we love it when educators bring their students into our nationally recognized gallery to see the power of photography and film firsthand. These onsite field trips can also include a demonstration, or a hands-on activity. (Spoiler alert: students typically love these demonstrations and activities.)
Below is a listing of our workshops and residencies. All programs are carefully developed to meet the goals of the Common Core and the North Carolina State Standards.
Fun with Sunprints: The Cyanotype
This is one of our favorite photography programs. The Cyanotype is one of the earliest forms of photography, which uses only light sensitive paper (or fabric) and sunlight. Students will receive a fun, hands-on approach to understanding light by creating their own individual sun print—or cyanotype—using found objects or objects from nature. This lesson can be adapted to suit older students by adding more of a focus on conceptual image creation or showing students how to mix chemistry and coat their own papers. We can also adapt to create full-size class murals. This is a great option for students with special needs. Perfect for autumn and springtime lesson planning, these images provide excellent prompts for discussion and writing.
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Look at Me: Student Self-Portraiture
Your students are growing up fast, forming their individual ideas, opinions, and feelings. The Light Factory can use the power of image to empower your students to express themselves. We will share the art of strong photographic composition, and guide your students through brainstorming sessions and help them create strong, concept-based self-portraits. Students will also be encouraged and supported through writing narratives—including poems, songs, or short stories—to compliment their expressive self-portrait.
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Photography for Social Change
The power of image can be fully realized with this photographic program. The Light Factory has customized projects with educators to inspire their students to document family, build community, promote peace and acceptance, think creatively, speak their minds, and build confidence. Multiple-visit residencies will grant students the opportunities to continue their photographic journeys at home and in their own life outside of school, ultimately realizing a very personal and powerful vision.
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Gallery and Darkroom Tour
Bring your students to our gallery and community darkroom in the heart of Plaza Midwood for a tour they will not forget. We will guide them through our newest exhibition with informative discussions, a scavenger hunt, and an introduction into the career of a photographic artist. If you choose, you may also add on a personalized darkroom experience where each student will learn how to make a photogram. The magic of watching a print emerge from the developer tray always seems to amaze, and the opportunity to create a print in this unique hands-on experience is truly inspiring.
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Costs: The cost for field trips is $5 per student. The cost of a customized tour experience is $10-15 per student. We require chaperones to be present, and they are always welcome free of charge. The Light Factory can accommodate larger groups by rotating the students through different experiences. We can also customize to allow for a photo-walk as an alternative to the darkroom experience.