Photography students stay connected through an Instagram account

Photo II student Bri Davis uses this photo to answer how has quarantine affected her? This is one of three pictures she took that got posted on the account for the assignment.
I edited the sides to kind of shut out everything on the outside to really emphasize that this is what I am doing, Davis said. Theres nothing else to it. I am just stuck in the house with the same objects.

Photo courtesy of Bri Davis

Photo II student Bri Davis uses this photo to answer ‘how has quarantine affected her?’ This is one of three pictures she took that got posted on the account for the assignment. “I edited the sides to kind of shut out everything on the outside to really emphasize that this is what I am doing,” Davis said. “There’s nothing else to it. I am just stuck in the house with the same objects.”

A red shoe bag lined the whiteboard in the Photography classroom for students to place their phones in during the hour. However, during times of quarantine, the device that was prohibited in the classroom has become a teaching tool.

During quarantine Photography teacher Katy Mangrich has turned to use an  @PWestPhotography Instagram account to remain connected to her students and to share photos.  

“I started [the account] because I wanted to create a platform where people could share their creativity with each other and we could all easily view it,” Mangrich said. 

Mangrich chose Instagram as a platform because of how easily accessible it was to her students.  

Reagan Vierling
Photo I student Reagan Vierling’s picture for ‘Signs of Spring’ photo assignment, “I adjusted the lighting with an app I’ve been using at home called Lightroom,” Vierling said. “I was able to play around changing the lighting until I felt like it was still natural but more detail was shown.”

“The fact that it is on Instagram [means] everyone uses it and is on it, so it works perfectly for everyone,” junior and Photo II student Bri Davis said.

If students do not have Instagram or do not want to post there, Mangrich allows her students to post their work on Google Classroom for her to share. 

“People can still see their work but they don’t have to be on social media to actually use [the account] or to turn in projects,” Mangrich said.

With photos being shared every day on the account, students find inspiration from others. 

“Some of my classmates’ work is very creative and unique,[it’s] inspiring me to be creative and thinking out of the box for my photos as well,” sophomore and Photo I student Reagan Vierling said. 

While the account’s original intent was to stay connected with students during quarantine, Mangrich plans to continue the account. 

“I won’t do it as a grade per se,” Mangrich said. “But I might use it as a platform to get out student work so people that are producing photos from the darkroom or even digital photos. I might post them as ways just to display artwork. I have used it also to share some of the work of students from my other classes as well just to share creativity with everybody.”

Even though Mangrich plans on keeping the account, Photo classes will still have the same curriculum based on the darkroom for film, and Photoshop for digital pictures. 

Olivia Bradshaw
While students are welcomed to use whatever software they want, these programs are what Photo students recommend.

“I feel this is a good alternative since we don’t have resources currently,” Mangrich said. “I’ll continue using Instagram as a form of connecting what my students are doing to the rest of the West High community.”

Students not enrolled in Mangrich’s classes have also taken pictures that are featured on the account.

“If anybody wants to play along that is not in any of my classes, just take a photo and tag @PWestPhotography in it,” Mangrich said.