Jouk Li Jou Kan Foto 2014 – Our 4th Annual Youth Photo Camp Full Report
This is a complete listing of all programs, workshops, and activities created and made possible during the 2014 Jouk Li Jou Kan Foto in Jacmel Haiti – our fourth annual Youth Photo Camp. We love that this program had so many supporters, and have so much gratitude for your funding and in kind gifts. All cameras, equipment, and computers were donated!
We had three teams, 28 students that shot over 7500 images, and 11 generous hard working volunteers from Haiti and the U.S. – Kristin Adair, Susan Bradley, Jennifer and Guy Pantaléon, Maggie Evans, Rudolph LaPointe, Joel Petion, Steve and Annika Walker, Georges Metellus, and Frantz ‘Papouche’ Nicolas. (Additional students participated in workshops and assisted us, but did not take photographs.)
This year we organized things differently using ‘aggressive’ structure, a tighter schedule posted daily on a chalkboard, and focused more on business development and computer skills. The teams met every morning at 9am, and the students were required to shoot their assignments before and after their daily classes. Activities included business and computer classes, guest speakers, photography workshops and slideshows, one on one editing with team leaders, and a huge neighborhood celebration. Every single student excelled beyond our dreams, rose to all challenges, and did better work than ever before!
Some of the best lessons this year were about light and creativity. The students fully grasped the concept of light and we called it limyé majik – magic light. They challenged themselves to incorporate beautiful light, long shadows, and silhouettes into their images.
- On the first day students and volunteers introduced themselves answering the question: What is your dream for the next 6 months? Every student had an updated portrait taken.
- Each student received a camera, badge, notebook, and pen. Advanced students were presented with a Press Pass. Students were divided into three teams choosing their own leaders and team names. To remind the students about caption info, stickers with who, what, when where, why and how written in Kreyol were on the inside flap. Every student was required to shoot a daily assignment, a postcard assignment, and a self-portrait
- The Complete Photo Kit Gift went to Djimmy Desulme of Cite Soleil this year. He was presented with a DSLR, lenses, photo bag, and accessories in front of the class. Last year it was Fedno. We’ve only does this twice, and the recipient needs to show that they have been shooting throughout the year, earned the respect of their peers, shown that they respect their equipment, and love photography
- The Fedno Challenge! Were there any students willing to step up and shoot as much and be as much of a star as Fedno? Andre Wilner took on this challenge very seriously. After talking with the two of them, they agreed to work together building the photo department and Fedno will teach Andre about workflow. They have already completed three assignments for Zanmi Lakay
- Daily one on one Editing Sessions – Three computer editing stations were set up, as well as a battery recharging station, and students worked with team leaders getting feedback, choosing their best work, and learning workflow. When a student came back with great photos beaming with pride there was excitement in the air as computer screens became surrounded because everyone wanted a look
- Postcard Competition – Inspiring future business opportunities, the student with the best image for a postcard won a point and shoot camera kit. The team leaders and volunteers decided the final edit, and then the students looked at the contenders. We all came to the same conclusion – Pierre Meristene was the photographer who had multiple beautiful postcard images! The plan is for the students to begin selling postcards to hotels in Haiti.
- Outdoor Mobile Photo Studio in the central park. Our second year for this hands on workshop where students photograph local subjects, make them feel comfortable, take turns as each other’s assistants, used painted chairs as props and reflectors for extra light. They organized the list of subjects, made prints, and then delivered them. The young street vendor selling candy got a bonus when Steve bought lollipops for everyone!
- Indoor Portrait Studio – All photographers and assistants were students, and it was their responsibility to set up and tear down equipment, as well as keep subjects and studio organized. We used lightstands, flashes, and umbrellas with the children of Espoir des Enfants, a local orphanage, as subjects.
- Portfolios and Resumes – None of the students understood what portfolios and resumes were or how they could be helpful, but they do now! We presented three students with portfolios – a book and a set of 20 photos to put together in front of the class. A white sheet was set out on a big table and the kids learned about being careful handling special prints. Extra portfolio books were left. Resumes were introduced and discussed, and will be produced next time.
- Workshop on Photographing Art – many of our students work in other mediums and needed training for photographing their own art. We used available light, reflectors, white backdrops, and a variety of pieces they have created. These photos can then be used in their portfolios or for marketing.
- Guy’s Daily Basic Business Class – last year he had 9 students and 2 failed, this year all 12 students passed! Guy uses a projector and computer program, and students take their final exam on the computer. Every student received a small business workbook for photographers and artists that Guy customized from a Fonkoze publication. Workbooks were printed locally in Jacmel.
- Open Computer Lab and Guy’s Daily Computer Classes – We created a Computer Lab with 12 laptops donated by Steve. There were daily classes using a projector and basic hands on training with both group and one on one instruction. Steve and his daughter Annika, who is fluent in French, taught powerpoint and basic navigation, and thrilled the students by giving out thumb drives that by the end of the Camp were filled with music, videos, and files. The Computer Lab was a huge hit and always packed, and is staying open three days a week with Bruno as the lab tech monitor.
- Photography Activities – Morning slideshows on what makes a beautiful and sellable postcard image, student photo stories in progress, and limyé majik – magic light – were presented and truly resonated with the students! Bruno, one of ACFFC’s top artists, told Guy that being aware of limyé majik changed the way he looks at things everyday! Last year Fedno shot a story about dumps, recycling, and garden composting, and we taped 55 of his images on the walls for a group editing session. The kids went into a frenzy editing them down to 20 for a “Client” – what works, what doesn’t work, variety, etc. They did fantastic even putting the garden part of the story in a sidebar! Kristin gave a compelling workshop on composition, and there was much coaching, editing and discussions.
- Maggie’s Dream Counseling – Maggie had the idea to ask students if they were interested in having one on one conversations to talk about whatever they wanted, and 20 students signed up the first day. Using Rodolph as the translator, they discussed what they needed, their lives, and hopes for the future. What they wanted was someone to talk to, and we did a lot more listening after figuring that out.
- Business Presentations – Steve gave a spirited talk about basic business concepts using the paper mache work of the students as an example. Guy integrated key words and made the kids chant them to remember. Susan’s presentation about creating her own unique business integrated concepts learned throughout the week and then she left the kids with sample brochures and print order envelopes.
- Favorite Photo Discussion Day at the Hotel Cyvadier Conference Center – In front of the entire group each student talked about why their Favorite Photo, previously selected in editing sessions, was important to them. Some had taken notes while others discussed issues and concepts, and then they took any questions. Christophe Lang, owner of Hotel Cyvadier, talked to the students about resumes and what he expects of potential job applicants. Afterwards we shot the 2014 Jouk Li Jou Kan Foto group photo.
- Students were interviewed on video giving a short elevator speech about who they were and how to contact them that we incorporated with their assignment images into the final multi-media presentation.
- All students filled out a questionnaire at the end of Jouk Li Jou, and most did it on a computer program created by Guy.
- On Sundays with the kids, we purchased lunch for everyone. Another day Steve bought two huge baskets of bananas, oranges, and mangos for all the kids at ACFFC.
- We cleaned out the Photography Cabinet, made a specific inventory list, created rules for checking out equipment, and enlisted two more students to help Fedno as assistants for the Photography Department. We also left a small 4×6 printer and extra cartridges with paper and taught Fedno, Jeff and Michel how to use it.
- Saturday Night Community Celebration. With purchased plywood, the ACFFC kids along with Papouche created a giant backboard as a screen, painted it white, and we blocked off Rue St. Anne for a huge outdoor party with a DJ. Friends, family, and the entire neighborhood came for a special viewing of our 30-minute multi-media presentation of 2014 Jouk Li Jou Kan Foto created by Guy and Kristin to celebrate our students.
- Jouk Li Jou was so successful and the momentum so strong that the volunteers have already chosen dates for next year – July 16-26, 2015!