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BHS photography students gain professional experience as they capture 2020

Special to the Bulletin
BHS Photography student Lillian Jonescue poses with her camera at Gordon Wood Stadium prior to the 2020 BHS Graduation ceremony.
BHS School Portrait Day was student-run by BHS Photo 2 students.

“The photograph is an undeniably powerful medium: free from the constraints of language, harnessing the unique qualities of a single moment frozen in time.” — Steve McCurry, National Geographic photographer

Photography students at Brownwood High School continue to capture time as they poise with cameras in hand at football games, around campus, and especially in their most recent endeavor – picture day. Photography teacher Heather Nix creates opportunities for her students to use their skills in professional environments.

Throughout the current school year, photography students have captured many moments. On the football field, students have been in the action on the sidelines, chasing that perfect shot. Attending and photographing pep rallies, homecoming, and other showcases of student accomplishments, such as the “Students of the Month,” which is a monthly highlighting of two distinguished students from each grade at BHS.

Photography 1 and 2 students also teamed up to present the student body with a unique occasion to capture the annual school photos. During the summer of the 2018-2019 school year, Nix began working with yearbook and video production teacher Monte Atchley to insource the process of school portraits.

“My Photography 2 classes were perfectly capable of doing this with a little bit of guidance,” said Nix.

From Nov. 3-5, Photography 1 and 2 students worked with Nix and their peers, recording life in autumn of 2020.

On Nov. 3-4, Nix's students photographed Cap and Gown, then Formal and Casual headshots, and on the Nov. 5 they photographed everyone else, Nix said.

School Portrait Day was student-run by all the Photo 2 students and by one of Nix's Graphic Design students, who has already taken Photo 1 and 2.

“Everyone pitched in and did different jobs," Nix said. "This was a way for my students to experience professionalism and develop those skills while servicing their fellow classmates, who we actually refer to as clients.”

While the students worked as a team to coordinate the portraits, they will utilize their work as a fundraiser for the Photography student account.

After the students process the images, remove minor blemishes, and fix the glare on glasses, the images will be uploaded to the BHS Media Crew website where parents can purchase the images they want, Nix said.

Parents can purchase prints, digital images and different gift products. All the proceeds go to the activity account.

Skilled photographers require the ability to see their work through a lens, while also relating to their clients with courtesy and professionalism, which Nix instills in her students through their Photography 1 and 2 classes and extracurricular opportunities including Portrait Day.

Nix teaches the importance of topics including perspective, lighting and contrast into her class class syllabus.

“Even though school yearbook pictures are not the most glamorous type of photography in the world, it is a special moment for us to capture,” Nix said. “In 10 or 20 years, when these students look through their yearbooks, they will remember their friends and the good times they had in school and that memory is precious to us.” Capturing portraits for an entire student body is no small assignment, but Nix’s students accomplished the task and are moving on to their next projects – staple skyscrapers, stop-motion, shutter speed, and harnessing time with a single snap.