“Using art as the catalyst, SOHO is designed to teach at-risk girls and boys to value creativity, live healthy lives, communicate openly, progress academically and give back to others.”
When the girls of SOHO (Space of Her Own) in Alexandria were given cameras to use for their photography project, it wasn’t just about learning photography. Their mission was to articulate their goals, then use their photography skills to bring them to life — from staging photos to developing the film.
At the end of the lesson, led by photographer Alison Duvall, each SOHO girl filled out an artist statement with their reflections on the process:
What scenes did you create to show your future goals?
“To show my future goals I created the following scenes: police officer; teacher; and traveler because these are future things I would like to become. I also created a scene about having fun because it is important to have fun in your life.” — Brianna
“The scenes that I created to show my future goal was Rocio and myself portraying “cops and robbers” because I want to be in the law enforcement business.” — Marian
“The scene that I created to show my future goal to be a veterinarian was of myself taking care of a cat, played by my friend Marian.” — Rocio
“My scenes of being a model are about being myself. I can do anything. I have fun putting on costumes.” — Meybelin
Is there a timeline or storyline to follow the scenes you created?
“Yes, there is a timeline. We did my makeup, my hair, I practiced, I won a medal, and I took pictures with my fans.” — Destinie
“I first made sure that the patient was breathing by checking the heart. Then I checked the temperature using the thermometer. I went to see what happened to the patient. The patient went into surgery. After surgery I still wanted to see if the patient felt better, so I gave her a check up.” — Jaylin
“I tried to show different jobs I would like to have when I get older. Some of the jobs in my pictures are model, student, business woman, and policewoman.” — Tayhana
A contact sheet from the 2015 SOHO Photography Exhibit.
How will you achieve each of your future goals?
“First I’ll graduate middle school and high school, then enter college. In college I’ll major in science and medicine. After I graduate college I’ll go to medical school. Upon finishing my residency I will finally become a pediatrician.” — Alisha
“I will join the ROTC in high school and then go jogging every day to become physically fit. I would also like to visit Parris Island in the near future.” — Jenniffer
“My future goal is to go to college and study government. I plan to study very hard in middle school and high school to go to college. I would like to be the first person in my family to go to college and get my degree.” — Selena
What is the most interesting thing you learned about photography?
“The most interesting thing I learned was about the birds view, worm view and straight view. The second thing is how to operate a camera.” — Julie
“The most interesting thing I learned about photography was how to use an old camera that wasn’t digital. I also learned how to create a scene.” — Brianna
“The most interesting thing about photographing my friends and directing them was getting them into the right position. Another interesting thing was dressing them up how I wanted.” — Sandis
Describe your experience in the darkroom.
“When we went to the wet steps, it was cool to see the picture appear!” — Destinie
“My experience in the dark room was really exciting! We enlarged our photo with a machine and put our photos in chemicals. The room was awesome. It wasn’t totally dark since there was an orange light. When we left the dark room my eyes started hurting from the bright light.” — Brianna
“We had to work in the dark. We focused the picture under the enlarger. We learned the developing process where you place the picture in each tray and keep an eye on the clock.” — Jenniffer
“I was happy and excited because I experienced something new today.” — Sandis
You can view the SOHO Photography Exhibit 2015 through Monday, February 2!