One day my teacher announced we would have a guest speaker come talk to us about photography. I was excited because prior to this I had seen a Polaroid camera and therefore was somewhat familiar with a camera. The Polaroid was "IT" for me. It peeked my curiosity into photography by having this magic image suddenly appear on a blank paper.
The day finally came; our guest speaker was here. I was attentive and ready to learn. I needed to know more about this photography thing. Somehow, I knew in my heart I would love it. There I was, face to face with a real photographer. I noticed he had a bag. He asked, "How many of you know how to use a camera?" I looked around only to see not too many hands up in the air, mine included. That's when he reached into his bag and pulled out a small black camera and announced he would give each of us a camera to use.
A smile as big as the day came across my face. We went outside. The cameras were already loaded with 35mm black and white film. He said, "Shoot whatever you like." I was the only one crouched down low trying to photograph an ant, a tiny opening in a door, a leaf hanging on a tree. I noticed he stayed close to me.
A week later he returned with our film. We got to keep our images! Before he left he announced there were a couple of exceptional students that he was super impressed with. I was one of those students. Up until then, I had never been exceptional. There was a sigh of relief. I thought, "Finally, something I'm good at!" There was no turning back. To this day, I'm rarely without a camera.
I believe the arts are essential for delivering quality education and well-rounded students. A world without creativity, imagination and social skills is a dreadful world. For me, I was more engaged with the work I was doing in school when the arts were brought in. I was attentive, had perfect attendance and my achievements in the academic subjects got stronger because I had a creative outlet (photography) to focus on.
Keep the arts in schools.
Welcome to VERTICAL Tampa Bay—a celebration of fashion, flavor, travel, culture and beauty (inside & out).
VERTICAL is a love letter. It is inspired by and speaks to the visionaries who call Tampa Bay home. It celebrates the treasures all around us—the people, places and things we rejoice to discover.