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Writing Through the Lens: Special Objects

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Students in the CRW Photography Workshop brought in objects which held personal significance for them. We spent some time writing about these objects and then went into the garden to take some portraits of each other posed with our special objects.

Marwlee wrote about African clothes, which she loves because you can wear them for church, school, job interviews and parties.

Elton brought in a silver dollar which belonged to his little sister. He wrote that his mother gave it to him forty-one years ago.

This is a silver dollar that belonged to my little sister when she was a baby. My mother gave it to me when I was about 18 years old. I've had it for 41 years. I carry it with me all the time. It's like a good luck charm. My sister asks me one time if I still had it. I said I never let it go. I think I'll give it to my son so he can give it to his son.This is a silver dollar that belonged to my little sister when she was a baby. My mother gave it to me when I was about 18 years old. I've had it for 41 years. I carry it with me all the time. It's like a good luck charm. My sister asks me one time if I still had it. I said I never let it go. I think I'll give it to my son so he can give it to his son.

Joe brought in his trombone, and wrote:

I have my trombone for one year. I bought it from a friend for 50 dollars. The trombone is a music instrument. You can play it in a band. I like the sound of the horn. I hope you like the sound of the trombone.I have my trombone for one year. I bought it from a friend for 50 dollars. The trombone is a music instrument. You can play it in a band. I like the sound of the horn. I hope you like the sound of the trombone.

Sol brought the students into the backyard to explain a bit about taking formal portraits. She brought in a round screen to reflect sunlight onto a subject’s face. One side was silver to cast cool, white light on faces and the other side was gold to shine warm, golden light instead. She also let students use her professional-style camera with the zoom lens.

Jose was our first photographer. He asked Willistine to hold the gold side of the reflector up to cast warm light on Elton who held up his silver coin and posed for the picture. We asked Elton to take off his glasses so they wouldn’t create any glare. Joanne stepped back and took pictures of the photographer. Jose loves the fancy camera and would like to keep it.

Marie posed with her foulard on her head and then without it. She held the wooden box a friend brought her from Haiti. She took a lot of instruction from the photographers and sat very still, like a good model.

Tony posed in the shade of the trees. Then Curtis posed leaning dramatically against a tree in the sun. Curtis is an enthusiastic model! Everyone hooted and howled.

Joe prefers taking candid photos, “stolen snapshots,” like a paparazzi. But Marwlee really likes posing people. Tony thinks “taking pictures brings back memories.” And Willistine thinks she could get a good job holding a reflector screen. Once she gets hold of the camera, however, there’s no holding her back: she snaps away at the shutter rapidfire, like a pro.

Finally, Pauline collected everyone for a big group shot. “It wasn’t bad but there was a lot of distraction. It looked good though.”

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