Summer Media Camp – PhotoVoice

PhotoVoice: Telling the Story of Camp with the Click of a Shutter


Can one picture really speak a thousand words? At Gateway Greening’s Garden Media Camp, students set out to find the answer. Campers learned that an important part of photojournalism is to show viewers a new perspective on the world. They took this lesson to heart, snapping shots everywhere from the top of a staircase to a few inches above the ground in order to show everyday life in the garden from a different angle. If there was a great picture to be snapped, our campers were on the trail!



Once the campers had practiced operating the cameras and taking photos from interesting angles, discussion shifted to the qualities of a stunning photo. What makes a particular photo stand out as excellent? Campers learned several key ideas to keep in mind as they tried their hands at photojournalism. First of all, photojournalists must have an eye for impact. Campers shared their ideas about what impact means and how a photo can have impact. Some campers felt that beautiful photos have great potential to impact viewers. This camper’s photo is an excellent example of using beauty in nature to impact others:


Another way campers learned to take photos for impact is to capture action. Action shots frame movement and feeling in a way that leaves the viewer feeling as though the photo has told them a story. Our brave campers looked high and low at Bell Garden for opportunities to catch activities and camp projects in action. Their determination to tell stories with photos led them to take shots like this one:


Over the course of Gateway Greening’s Garden Media Camp, students took hundreds and hundreds of photos. With the help of our journalism experts, Miss Katie and Miss Jeannette, campers each chose their best photo from camp to go in a special exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden titled “PhotoVoice”. Before we sent campers’ photos to their final destination at the Botanical Garden, we held an end-of-camp reception at the St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum to celebrate everyone’s hard work, snack on some healthy treats from the garden, and view all the amazing photos on display. If you haven’t yet been able to see these budding photojournalists’ work, you can still visit the Gateway Greening Garden Media Camp exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden from now through the end of the month (July 31st). Gateway Greening is lucky to have been able to spend two weeks with such wonderful campers, and we are proud to share your photos with the St. Louis community!

On the Air at Garden Media Camp


As our campers honed their photography skills, working individually and in teams to tell the story of camp through visual media, the time came to expand their horizons even further. Campers began to explore a new way to tell a story: creating a camp podcast. This was a new experience for our campers, and they were eager to get started. Our magnificent media teachers, Miss Katie and Miss Jeannette from Show-Me Youth Media, engaged campers in a discussion about how good questions lead to great stories. What makes a good question, you ask? The campers would be glad to share!


Gateway Greening’s campers were ready to take on the podcast challenge! Armed with headsets, microphones, and recording devices, they set out to find out how members of our camp community felt about their experiences at Bell Garden. Using the open-ended, “who, what, when, where, why and how” questions they discussed with their media teachers, campers talked to peers, counselors, and guest instructors about Gateway Greening’s Garden Media Camp. Through the interviews led by inquisitive campers, others were able to share their favorite activities, interesting things they learned, and best memories from camp. The creative minds working on the camp podcast were on a mission to tell a truly great story!


Finally, with the help of our media staff, campers’ interviews were organized into their very own podcast. Not only did campers develop their technical skills through this project, but they also worked hard to listen empathetically and to make others’ voices in their community heard. Well done, campers. Gateway Greening is proud of you!


By: Ivy Love – Camp Counselor