We wrapped up our Yellowstone Photo Workshop with a gallery show at the Baxter in downtown Bozeman, Montana. The students agreed to let me curate a surprise gallery from their best images, or “hot shots,” to tell the story of our experience together.
It was exciting to see the wonderful images that the students created throughout the expedition and extremely difficult to narrow down the images to just one print per student. From the patriotic apparel and dirt-kicking action of the rodeo, to quiet moments on hikes and the spectacular beauty of Yellowstone’s wildlife, landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, and thermal features, we showcased an amazing variety of imagery.
The students participated in curating how the images would be displayed in our gallery space and helped with arranging the food and beverages. Ana S. deserves a special mention for singing and playing ukulele during our show, as does Josh for helping me put together a video slideshow of our experience together. And thank you to all of the family, friends, and community members who came to see the culmination of our photo workshop.
I’m so proud of how each student came into this experience with the willingness to learn, explore, and become a community. In true National Geographic fashion, they sacrificed sleep and sit-down meals in order to chase the light and explore the park. They took on long editing sessions to keep up with downloading, backing-up, organizing, and rating their images using Lightroom. In one-on-one and group critiques they learned to understand what makes an image successful and how to push their own image-making to the next level. Most importantly, they learned that photography is about much more than making pretty pictures; photography is about telling stories, understanding the subject matter, and using images to inspire and educate.
I wish these young photographers the best of luck as they take their photography skills out into the wider world!