Photography at BHS

Within BHS’s wide selection of classes, photography offers students a unique opportunity to express their creativity through the lens of a camera.


Digital camera. Students get to use higher-quality equipment to be creative with their own projects. “I feel that, now more than ever, students either don’t want to put the time into creativity or are afraid of being judged for their creativity.” Bedard said. “And in reality, when it comes to the people that students look up to most, if we want to look at YouTube or TikTok or what have you, it’s the ones that decide to do something creative that usually pull ahead and it’s the copycats that are the ones who are left behind.”

The 21st century has ushered in a new generation of students who have been raised in the age of the world wide web. They are exposed to photos and art not even comparable to what students from prior generations saw. Students today naturally tend to be more creative because they can draw inspiration from a wide variety of art online. 

Other than a traditional canvas and paints, art can be expressed through photography as well. Everyone has a camera in their pocket, but like painting, drawing and other types of art, it takes knowledge and skill to take an objectively good photo. BHS offers Photography I and II to students so they have the opportunity to grow their photography skills Jennifer Bedard is the teacher for both photography classes at BHS. She has been teaching for 16 years.

“I would say that I’m a hobby photographer, but I’m qualified to teach photography.” Bedard said “I find it interesting because, to me, photography is art when done right. I think that a lot of people are interested in photography now because phones have made it so easy to take pictures and oftentimes they take really good pictures.”

Similar to other art classes, students in photography learn the elements of art, the principles of design and the rule of thirds — a compositional technique where two-thirds of the photo is open while the subject of the photo is placed in the left or right third. A good photo is very nuanced and well thought out with these skills in mind, which can be applied to more than just photography. Art classes can benefit students in other facets as well which makes it important. 

[skills] like that are universal across art and not just like visual arts but like, T.V. and Cinema Production, which I teach, I talk about rule of thirds and things like that. So I think a basic art background for any student is important because we are consumers and art is consumed everyday by everyone.” Bedard said. “They just don’t think of it that way. It’s the sneakers you wear and the cars you drive, like the toilet brush you have at home was all designed by someone and oftentimes there’s a reason why they chose that toilet brush compared to the one next and oftentimes the reason why is because of some type of design aspect.” 

Bedard has her class do different types of photography projects. This past semester, some of the projects students did were make avatars of themselves using photoshop and did light painting, where students use lights in the dark and take pictures so it gives the photo a special design to it. Photography II did a levitation project to make their photos appear like they are floating in space using photography and photoshop. 

“My students take a lot of pictures, so a lot of the classes are ‘here is the assignment, you need to go out and take pictures.’ So the one thing about photography is that it ends up being a very independent class, and that suits some students very well.” Bedard said. “Some students have a hard time with that because they don’t know what to do with the independence. You’ll get them like in the commons socializing then they come back to class and haven’t taken their pictures yet. So I would say that for the most part that the class is a class where you get up and do stuff or you’re gonna be working on the computer in photoshop.” 

While most students may grow up taking pictures with phones, photography gives the chance for students to use better equipment. There is a noticeable difference in quality in photos based on equipment used, so Photography provides a great opportunity for students to work with unfamiliar equipment.   

“I think it’s interesting for students to learn an actual camera because it’s not a phone and there are things you need to manipulate on a camera or can manipulate on a camera to make photos better.” Bedard said. “Biggest thing for me is kids thinking creatively and outside the box instead of just point and shoot.”