The First Day – Getting Familiar, Looking at Student Work and Picking Projects

Foundry instructor Maggie Steber reviewing portfolios with her students on first day of workshop, July 21, 2014
Foundry instructor Maggie Steber reviewing portfolios with her students on first day of workshop, July 21, 2014

Antigua, Guatemala – It’s getting-acquainted time – both with each other and with how to work in Guatemala!

Students began Monday at 8 a.m. with talks by instructors Moises Castillo, the AP photographer in Guatemala, and Victor Blue, award-winning freelancer who has worked extensively in this country and the region, on safety and security while working here. Photographing in a nation with very diverse cultures and a history of violent criminal activity will require care and sensitivity, they stressed. Each followed with a number of suggestions to reduce a photojournalist’s risks of loss or injury.

On that note, the students joined with their instructors to introduce each other and, in most cases, also to share portfolios, getting initial comments from their instructors on style and elements of their work.   Then students discussed with their instructors proposed projects and plans for capturing the images needed to tell the stories.

“The teachers are great…I am so inspired and excited,” said student Ana Maria Buitron, from Quito, Ecuador. “I’m just so glad to be here.” She then noted she was getting up very early on Tuesday to travel to her subject’s location so she could continue work. She admitted that she had arrived early in Antigua to begin work before the workshop formally commenced.

As the sun climbed into the tropical sky, students fanned out to work on their projects, and then to reconvene at 7 pm for presentations by instructors.

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