Ms. Jones Makes Over Room 104B into Photo Studio

On Friday, November 11, Ms. Summer Jones opened a photo studio in Room 104B for Digital Imaging and Digital Photography students.

Previously, Irvington photography students had to take studio photographs outside of school for their assignments, reducing accessibility. Room 104B was a computer room at the time.

“They would just have to take photos outside of campus all the time for every single project, which is fun,” stated Ms. Jones. “But we needed something on campus.”

The project cost $3,000 and was primarily funded by an anonymous donor. Beginning in August 2022, Ms. Jones removed all the computers from Room 104B and placed them in her classroom, Room 73, clearing space for equipment such as backdrops, light stands, and lighting modifiers. She set up the equipment in separate stations for photography projects, such as capturing character portraits.

“I wanted to add something to the photography program that was not here when I was a student,” said Ms. Jones, an alumnus of Irvington.

Despite Room 73 being named a photo studio, its layout with permanent tables made it difficult to set up equipment in the room and take photos. In Room 104B, students can take more creative photos with more space available. So far, students appreciate the quality and types of photos they can take in the studio.

“When the lights go off, it’s pretty dark, so a lot of studio lights actually illuminate the students’ subject and not everything, ” said Digital Imaging student Monika Pospieszny (9).

However, the studio still has improvements to make for it to be a more valuable resource for photographers at school.

“The only thing I don’t like would be the studio backlights because they don’t work very well,” described Pospieszny. Backlighting is illuminating subjects from behind with light stands. “They don’t stand upright so they’re very hard to use.”

In addition to upgrading such equipment, in the future, Ms. Jones wants to add more equipment to the studio. 

“I can’t wait to add more things, like props and different types of lighting filters to do different types of styles,” said Jones. Types of photography filters include color filters and polarizing filters, which allow cameras to capture more saturated colors. “A product table [a specialized table for product photography] would be really great.”

Ms. Jones also wants her photography students to collaborate with Mr. Rodocker’s Culinary Arts students using the studio for food photography.

“Hopefully we’ll make some food that we can then photograph in the studio!” chimed Ms. Jones.

Ms. Jones ultimately wants to further the students’ professional photography development with an on-campus photo studio.

“If you’re going to be in the photography world as a career, you need to know studio photography,” said Ms. Jones.

104B is open to all Irvington photography students seeking opportunities to practice their skills and further their professional experiences.