Good News!

35

As I sat in the school library, scrolling through Lomography.com on the school’s computer I finally took a moment to look back at my history with photography and how it has conflicted with my school work and why I continue to let it intrude in my academics. And even further, why my school has accepted constant flashes and snapping of photos from me.

In my freshman year of high school I was incredibly close with my art teacher. We both had 8th period free and so everyday I would just tromp on upstairs and into her room for the last lazy minutes of the day. I started to show her some of the pictures I had taken a year ago to do some linoleum block cut outs and she really liked them. She told me I had to keep doing this. She told me I had to keep taking pictures. So I decided to buy a camera for a school project. So we searched for hours on eBay. We finally found a perfectly good Yashica Mat TLR that went for $65. We won. There was much rejoicing. We then were told by the teacher next door to quiet down.

Credits: fivedayforecast

Two days later the school blocked ebay.com on the school computers.

After a few days I realized that my home wasn’t some box that confined me and my camera so I bought a neck strap and took my new baby to school. It took a while for me to get comfortable with bringing something that precious with me to a very dangerous place. It also took time for my friends to realize I had a camera and have them become comfortable with me taking pictures all the time.

Credits: fivedayforecast

But tragedy was sure to strike soon. The school isn’t really too keen on cameras in the school and were getting sort of suspicious where all these pictures were going and why I wasn’t ever showing them to them. I never showed them to the teachers merely because they were film and I never remembered to bring in my prints. Making matters worse a choppy video of a ridiculous dance party I held in the school’s bathroom had leaked onto Facebook. That party however was very worth it.

The school was looking for me.

So one day during a study hall, I took a picture of some playing cards on a table. Nothing ridiculous. Nothing sketchy. Just a pile of playing cards.

Credits: fivedayforecast

The principal then came took me into the hall and told me I was from now on banned from taking photos in the school.

Credits: fivedayforecast

I was devastated.

Just as I had gotten used to being able to click my shutter all times of the day whenever I want, it was taken away from me for majority of the day. I spent all my time in school and lets be honest, so many classes of the day are boring. Photography was I way I could pay attention sometimes. With the simple mindless fidgeting of the lens of my Holga, I found I was able to pay attention somehow. Needless to say, I still snuck cameras in here and there.

Credits: fivedayforecast

So this year came around and I signed up for yearbook. Yearbook was not my first choice of class and they couldn’t fit me into Digital Photography, the closest thing to a photography course that my school offers, so yearbook was going to have to do. It was still a class that gave me permission to carry a camera everywhere.

And so the school got used to it. They realized my photos weren’t just stupid photos. They weren’t just photos that would be uploaded onto some social networking site and then horribly edited . They came to like my photos.

Credits: fivedayforecast

And just recently the head of our school saw some of my photos that were on display in a local restaurant. He was very impressed. A week later I was given a note that told me to go to his office after school that day. And after talking for a few minutes, I was officially hired to photograph my school for their website.
Credits: fivedayforecast

And now they’ve unblocked Lomography.com on my school’s computers upon my request.

written by fivedayforecast on 2010-11-04

35 Comments

  1. pith
    pith ·

    Two days later the school blocked ebay.com on the school computers

  2. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    Yeah apparently we collectively spent 11 hours on eBay. No big deal.

  3. lighttomysoul
    lighttomysoul ·

    WIN! love it. :)

  4. cruesi
    cruesi ·

    glad there's a happy ending :)

  5. rav_bunneh
    rav_bunneh ·

    I remember my HS photography class fondly. We had a b&w darkroom that was, to me, magical. :3

  6. mikahsupageek
    mikahsupageek ·

    great story Ty, happy to read that you and your school were able to have an agreement =)

  7. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    Yes happy endings always rule!

    @rav_bunneh
    Yeah we have a terrible arts program at my school. But luckily I work at a photo lab.

  8. azzzy
    azzzy ·

    A very happy ending.

  9. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    Indeed! I'm getting paid as well!

  10. geltona
    geltona ·

    I can't believe they wouldn't let you take photos!! but i'm glad you can now :)

    and that lomo is unblocked :)

  11. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    It was pretty dang ridiculous, but that never stopped me! Haha

  12. vgzalez
    vgzalez ·

    happy ending! lomo won!!

  13. shoujoai
    shoujoai ·

    :)

  14. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    Lomo will always win!

  15. japsix
    japsix ·

    great job!

  16. quail
    quail ·

    aw dude the headmaster at my school saw me with my camera and banned it right away but im gonna join yearbook too so its gonna be alright

  17. bigphilly808
    bigphilly808 ·

    GREAT job!! love this article!! reminded me if my high school years....i spend almost my entire senior year locked away in the artclass darkroom :-)

  18. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    @Quail! Fight that stuff! Our school's look similar (or what I can tell from your pictures) Look where it got me! hahaha. But yeah yearbook is the ultimate answer.

  19. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    @Bigphilly808, I wish our school had a darkroom. I probably would lock myself in there then.

  20. reneg88
    reneg88 ·

    hell yeah! my college asked me to take some photos of the school for them, but they told me they wouldn't pay me haha. mean people :P luckily you got hired! haha good job!

  21. paramir
    paramir ·

    great! I am glad you eventually got the place you deserve. Do not stop shooting!

  22. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Great article and you got a nice teacher who encourage you to continue to take fotos......

  23. tiro8
    tiro8 ·

    this is a great story! way to find a way to keep shooting and let your work speak for itself! keep up the nice work.

  24. kevinlj182
    kevinlj182 ·

    That's such a bad ass story! I love when things go your way. Also it is fantastic that you are doing the photography for the school's website. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

  25. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Wonderful story with happy ending!! When I was in the USN, I was on a ship that was in and out of Viet Nam during a very bad time (1969-1970). I took about 500 slides in and about Viet Nam and about the ship (USNS Upshur) with a Topcon Unirex. I mailed the camera, lenses, and the slides home in the same box. The camera and stuff arrived, but the slides disappeared. I was told about 20 years later by a retired CIA guy that Nixon's CIA did stuff like that. I've generally lost almost all my old photos by letting sloppy relatives and friends borrow to make prints, etc. Treat your slides and negatives like gold. They have more reality than a .jpg on a hard drive. Keep up the good work!!

  26. cornpony
    cornpony ·

    Damn the man! Save the Empire! :)

  27. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    @Reneg88! That's ridiculous! Get some payment for those if they used em!

  28. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    @Kevinlj182, I'll send a link to here someday.

  29. kontrast
    kontrast ·

    What a cool story fiveday!

  30. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    @herbert-4
    that's terrible! I'm sorry to hear that. I try to treat my negatives pretty well. I've only lost two rolls so far! aahah. Left one in a coffee shop in my hometown and when I came back for it 15 minutes later they were gone.

  31. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Great story! Love the shots with the cards! :)

  32. chaoticsense
    chaoticsense ·

    Amazing story, great!

  33. nicolas_noir
    nicolas_noir ·

    Great story! That's pretty appalling that they stopped you in the first place, but great to hear a happy ending!

  34. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    They blocked it on the computers again....

  35. natalieerachel
    natalieerachel ·

    Awesome story! My school doesn't really care about me carrying my cameras around. But there's really not a lot of pictures to take there :/