Summer 2015 Camps

Intensive Programs

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"My daughter enjoyed every day of her three week workshop. I never expected such enthusiasm! I love the work that she produced and I feel that this was a very well run program. She learned A LOT. Thank you for a very successful summer.
-Carol C., New York City

"Just a little recent news that I submitted some of the work that i did at SOCAPA for a huge arts scholarship for the college I applied to and I won the maximum scholarship as well as the arts scholar title. I wouldnt have gotten it without SOCAPA. Thanks so much!
-Hannah P., New Jersey


Photo Frame



beach photoSOCAPA offers one, two and three week summer programs in traditional 35mm darkroom and/or digital photography with a strong emphasis on aesthetics and portfolio development. Students take classes in studio and portrait photography, photojournalism, documentary, fine art photography, Photoshop, Lightroom and web publishing. When applying to the program, students must choose one of our three intensive workshops:

  • DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY: "The Art of Faces and Places" (1, 2, or 3 Weeks)

SOCAPA's Digital Photography Workshop,The Art of Faces and Places,focuses on digital SLR cameras, Photoshop and Lightroom. Students are introduced to an array of digital photographic techniques used in the studio, on location and in post-production. The "Faces" component of the program emphasizes the art of capturing the human condition on camera. Students learn what makes a good photograph by studying the aesthetics of master photographers such as Dorthea Lange, Sally Mann, Walker Evans, Diane Arbus and Robert Frank. Students learn the fundamentals of composition and natural lighting as well as studio portrait techniques.

Photography Camp New York
The "Places" component of the program reminds students to never forget where they are. Photography, even in the studio, does not take place in a vacuum. New York City, Los Angeles, and the diverse landscapes of Vermont, offer a wealth of photographic opportunities as well as some of the world's most exciting collections of visual art. Field trips are planned on an almost-daily basis. Students spend more time at the parks, boardwalks, streets and museums, learning and practicing photographic techniques than they do in the traditional classroom. Formal classes in the history of photography, aesthetics, photo theory, Photoshop, Lightroom and studio lighting complement the work they do out in the field. In a final class on web design and publishing, students learn to create an online portfolio of their summer work, which is posted on the SOCAPA server at the end of the program.

THIS COURSE IS GOOD FOR: Students without formal training who are more interested in photographing the sights of the city and exploring the museums than they are in learning traditional 35mm darkroom photography. Students should be passionate about the arts in general and photography specifically and should adore walking and seeing.

  • 35MM DARKROOM & DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY: "D&D Art Workshop" (2 or 3 Weeks)

SOCAPA's "D&D Art Workshops" in New York City and Burlington, Vermont, expose students to both 35mm black & white darkroom photography and color digital photography. The D&D Art Workshop integrates the digital lessons, safaris and assignments in the Digital Photography course with an additional 8-10 hours per week in the darkroom. Students will learn to develop black and Photo Students at MOMAwhite film and make contact sheets and prints.  In the darkroom, students will learn printing basics, such as controlling print contrast with filters and “burning and dodging.”  On photo safaris, students will shoot with two different cameras, capturing a mix of both 35mm black & white negative film and color digital files.

Our D&D Art Workshops move at a faster pace and are technically more intense than our digital only workshops. It is recommended that incoming students have basic photography experience and an understanding of key concepts and terms like depth of field, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. That said, SOCAPA will accept beginning students with a passion to learn darkroom photography into the program with an understanding that the student will read at least one book on basic photography before the program starts, hence the "Advanced Beginner" label. Most introductory photography books are more than adequate but for those seeking a recommendation, we suggest the aptly named "Basic Book of Photography" by Tom and Michele Grimm.

THIS COURSE IS GOOD FOR: Students who have basic photography experience and are passionate about learning traditional 35mm film and darkroom techniques in addition to emerging digital technologies.

  • ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP (3 Weeks in New York; 2 Weeks in Vermont)

SOCAPA's Advanced Digital Photography Workshops are for our return photography students and students who have extensive experience with digital photography. Advanced Digital Photography students will have the opportunity to work in medium format. In addition, students will learn to edit their images in Photoshop and Lightroom using advanced compositing and selection techniques. Terms and tools, such as Quick Mask, transform, blending modes and actions will become part of the students’ Photoshop vocabulary. A strong emphasis will be placed on portfolio development, and each student will be encouraged to create a body of work that showcases his or her own unique, creative vision through thematic and stylistic choices.

THIS COURSE IS GOOD FOR: Return photography students and students with extensive experience in digital photography.More...

Photography Shoot New York

Students in our Digital Only and Digital & Darkroom workshops will complete a series of technical and conceptual assignments to create a portfolio of final images:

cartier bresson 1) The Cartier-Bresson (Week One):
Guided by lessons on composition, street photography and techniques for safely and confidently approaching subjects, students will take to the streets, capturing candid portraits, human interactions, architectural street scenes, and urban details. This assignment takes its name from Henri Cartier-Bresson, an early 20th century master of street photography and father of photojournalism, who coined the expression the "decisive moment." Practice of the "decisive moment" encourages students to capture that fleeting creative instant in which everything in the frame comes together to create the best possible image. Through this exercise, students will build an awareness of framing, light, color, form, line, and pattern and will learn to make a multitude of aesthetic choices, to create technically strong compositions.
Judy Garland 2) The Hurrell (Week One):
After completing a "Headshot Workshop," including a creative portraiture and natural lighting lesson, photographers will be paired up with students from the SOCAPA acting, dance, and music programs to create professional studio headshots, portraits, and action photographs. Students will gain a basic knowledge of studio set-up, learning to control strobe lighting using equipment such as soft boxes and grids, creating a "drop-out white" background for professional headshots, and lighting subjects for dramatic, creative portraits. Photographers will gain the valuable skills needed to successfully direct photo subjects while experiencing the excitement of working in a professional studio environment. This project takes its name from George Hurrell, the famous Golden Age Hollywood MGM photographer.
Cindy Sherman 3) The Sherman (Week Two):
Students in the two week program will have the opportunity to create a series of creative self-portraits. Students will be encouraged to think outside the box, discovering what they want to say about themselves and translating this into images using in-camera techniques, costumes, props, lighting and/or Photoshop compositing. In addition to practicing the creative controls of shutter speed and depth of field, students will learn to work with self timers, tripods and manual focus. This project will stress the importance of conceptualization, metaphor, symbolism and self-expression, teaching from the work of photographers such as Cindy Sherman, Nikki S. Lee, Gillian Wearing and Andy Warhol.
Cameron 4) The Cameron (Week Two):
Students will tell a story by creating a narrative photographic series. These projects are tailored to each student's interest and can be elaborate, conceptualized fictions or non-fictional documentaries of person or place. Students will study the work of Julia Margaret-Cameron, Duane Michals, Alec Soth, Gregory Crewdson and Danny Lyon, historical and contemporary photographers who successfully tell photographic stories with a variety of inspiring approaches.
movieposter 5) Movie Posters (Week Three):
For this assignment, students work with the filmmakers and actors to create a movie poster concept for display at the final screening. Photographers study the graphics and typography of well-known movie posters, then create one image to represent their assigned film. Students will learn to integrate text and graphics into their images and will employ advanced Photoshop compositing skills to bring their ideas to life.
3cams 6) Themed Portfolio Project (Week Three)
Based on the interests and skills developed over the first two weeks, students will select a themed project to photograph in depth. Themes can be anything from landscapes to portraits to still lifes. Students will learn to discuss their ideas in class and give and receive constructive criticism in a supportive manner, similar to a college arts program environment. This assignment will help students learn to think in project form and begin to develop a photographic style that will prepare them for advanced and college photography programs.

Our Summer Photography Programs are closely tied to our Acting, Filmmaking and Dance Programs. As part of their assignment each week, a photography student may be sent out to shoot production stills on a film set one morning or off to the studio to light and shoot headshots for an actor one afternoon. In this way, each photography student builds an impressive entertainment portfolio to complement the documentary and fine art work they do in class and on field shoots. This also allows the photography students to mingle and work with other young visual and performing artists, which often leads to future collaborations and, more importantly, friendships that last a lifetime.

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