Friday, March 8, 2019

San Antonio: Esta es mi Cuidad

So excited to announce that our photography program will have an exhibit at the Institute of Texan Cultures opening March 29 and running through July.  The exhibit will feature art and architecture images of downtown San Antonio celebrating our city's tricentennial. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The WINdy City

Last week, Cole photography and journalism students traveled to attend and compete at the JEA/NSPA national journalism conference in Chicago with over 6300 students from across the United States.

Junior, Raquelle Bennett competed in the Photography Portfolio division at the conference and was one of only three students in the country to receive a Superior Rating. The portfolio competition is the most difficult and competitive division, usually reserved for seniors, as students may only enter once in their high school career.

Raquelle's portfolio consisted of art-inspired portraits that were created in both her commercial photography and AP art photography classes. While judges encouraged her to remove the single life-style portrait, they were very impressed with her technical skill combined with her variety of creative approaches to all other images in the portfolio.

Great job Raquelle!!!

Monday, July 30, 2018


Most people make New Year's Resolutions.  A new calendar.  A clean slate. A chance to upgrade and improve.  Teachers do this too; we just do it in August instead of January.

We spend the summer looking back, evaluating what went well and what needs an "upgrade", and then we get to start fresh in for a new school year.

This year's resolution is a continuation of last years because it's a big one.  To me, it is one of the most valuable components of education - and just like all great things, it takes time.

Make learning relevant and meaningful.  

How do we, as teachers, make our assignments MORE?  More than a grade.  More than a checked box.  More than a week on the calendar.

I believe that my photography classes need relevant, real world experience both in work and in exhibition.  We began doing work in the community.  We started an online sales gallery.  We published a yearly photo book.  We competed in local, state, and national contest.  All students maintained a reflective blog portfolio, and advanced students built their own business website. 

But I wanted MORE.

And finally, on August 9th, we will take the next step.  In partnership with the Fort Sam Houston Museum at the Quadrangle, Cole photography students will have their own gallery exhibit.  Real.  Relevant.  More.

I know how much work - mental and physical - my students put into their assignments.  I see their vision come to life on the screen.  But it's a whole new ballgame when their community sees it in person, mounted on the wall of a public gallery.  And my heart bursts with pride for them.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Greenspaces Picture Your World Winners

Congratulations to our Picture Your World winners!  Five Cole photographers had work selected for Greenspaces Alliance Picture Your World gallery last night at the Witte Museum.  Honored among hundreds of entries from all over San Antonio and Bexar County,  these students' works were matted and framed and will be on display through the South Texas Greenspace Alliance over the next year. 
Julia Alvarez

Hannah Cook

Kayte Griffin

Dana Rose

Raquelle Bennett

Friday, September 22, 2017

When Chaos Comes Together

I was having a discussion with some friends the other day about life and jobs and general craziness, and found myself saying that while I am sometimes overwhelmed and really, REALLY tired . . . I truly love what I do.  As in, if I could change anything - do anything  -- I think I'd stay right here. 

What.  A.  Gift. 

How lucky am I that even though things might be chaotic . . . there is beauty and grace in that chaos.

Which brings me to today's gallery.  My beginning photographers are learning about different Photoshop tools and applications, so we work on a project called "Transformations".  They can experiment with adjustments and filters to create a grid of image effects that also come together . . . in beautiful chaos. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Challenge Accepted

Another Year.  Another AMAZING group of student photographers.

At the end of each school term, I find myself a bit melancholy at losing what must be the absolutely best and talented group of students that could exist at Cole.  And then about two weeks into the next school year, I realize that the talent pool is deeper than I ever imagined.

This year is no exception.  My returning students have taken their work to an even higher level . . . and my new students continue to impress me with creativity and vision.

In an effort to push kids out of their comfort zones and better prepare them for assignments and contests, I have decided to implement weekly challenges this year:  A one word theme and a week to create the most creative and technically correct response to the theme.

Here are the top three from the first two challenges:









Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sharing Your Images

Check out this new way to share your images from a photoshoot or assignment.  Using Adobe Spark