ARTISTIC VISION: Spring Break Photography Internship

ARTISTIC VISION: Spring Break Photography Internship

by Jerry Slayton

Artistic Vision

This year, over Spring Break, a group of young photography interns set out from the Art Spark offices each morning in search of realizing their Artistic Vision. At their lead, Anthony Maddaloni, a local pro photographer, art educator, and darkroom wizard. Over the course of 5 days each intern made genuine strides in developing their photography skills, but also in connecting with one another as artists. Anthony and I sat down last week to recap and share a few stories about the class. As a visual art teacher myself, I was very interested to hear how Anthony organizes his class, and as we spoke I noticed a few key elements emerge. So while this blog is certainly a recap of the Spring Break class, it can also be read as inspiration to all our teachers out there.

Black and White photo of interns, one of which uses a wheelchair.
All student interns standing together for a group photo in front of the neighborhood church.

Walking the Neighborhood

Each morning the photography interns began their day by strolling around  the neighborhood with their cameras. This became a daily ritual to activate the group and explore, while also getting some fresh air. To quote Anthony, " The group really bonded during our photo strolls each morning. It was a great low-pressure way to take pictures and hang out, and be open to what the neighborhood had to offer. We observed the houses and churches and architecture, but also the blooming plant life. And the morning walk is flooded with golden hour light, perfect for photos.”

I have to admit, as Anthony described this activity I was immediately excited to try it in my teaching practice. I love how “Walking the Neighborhood” gets students out of the classroom and offers them a chance to explore a new environment with cameras. Anthony revealed to me that one of the main educational reasons for these walks is to get students practicing the Rule of Thirds in their photos. To have each third of their photographs composition relate to the other thirds, to tell a story or connect one idea to another idea. So, before students begin a “walk” they learn a new photography concept, such as the Rule of Thirds, and then put it into practice. Brilliant.

Interns taking photos.
Students wander the neighborhood photographing the flowers and trees.


A key component to this internship was to expose students to a variety of photographic processes. Cyanotype, is an alternative photo process where 2 different light sensitive chemicals are mixed together and coated onto watercolor paper. After the students prepared their paper they placed objects or photo negatives on top of the paper and exposure it to UV light. In this case, they set their paper out in the sun for 10 min or so. Students gathered plants sticks and rocks, anything found in the area around the Art Spark Studio to create shadow prints of the object on the paper surface. Anthony elaborated, “ The students seemed to really enjoy learning about the science and art of photography, the interplay of light and shadow to make an image.”

I think that’s what I like most about Anthony’s method of teaching. He treats photography and artmaking as a bit of an experiment, allowing students to learn methods and then take those methods out into the world. It’s been a joy to chat with Anthony, learn about his class and take some ideas for my own.

Dean paints cyanotype emulsion.
From his wheelchair, Dean paints the cyanotype emulsion onto paper as he prepares to expose his cyanotype outside.

Art Spark would like to recognize Ammar, Michael, Dean, Francesca, and Jayden for their efforts as interns, and to congratulate Anthony on hosting a great class!

Like what you see? Join our next Photography Workshop in Late April.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Art Spark Texas logo

Would you like to receive updates on Art Spark Texas and upcoming events?
Please submit the form below
to join our email list!

Scroll to Top