PhotoU Creative Camp Returns for Summer 2019!


I am excited to announce that after an awesome debut in Bend last summer, PhotoU’s Creative Camp will be returning to At Liberty in 2019! The week-long program will run from July 15th-19th, from 9am-12pm daily.

Open to all 13-18 year olds, this is an awesome opportunity to get creative, challenge yourself to think outside the box, and find your artistic voice! We will have a ton of fun behind the camera as we learn about various photographic genres, style and techniques, and get plenty of hands-on experience with daily photo projects.

Click here to save your spot and sign up now

I hope to see you there!

-Beth, PhotoU Founder and Instructor

PhotoU Creative Camps to be held At Liberty this Summer

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We are thrilled to announce that PhotoU's Creative Camps will be held At Liberty Arts Collaborative this summer! 

Located in downtown Bend, Oregon in the historic Liberty Theater, At Liberty is a dedicated arts space, gallery, and cultural hub. Their yellow stucco building is home to several of Bend's most exciting creative organizations, and host to many more. 

At Liberty's gorgeous space, filled with inspiring art could not be a more perfect venue for our youth photography classes. A big THANK YOU goes out to René Mitchell and the entire At Liberty team for making this possible.

Don't miss your chance to join us!

Registration is now open for all Creative Camps:

Ages 8-10: July 9th-13th

Ages 11-13: July 30th - August 3rd

Ages 14-18: August 13th-17th

Sessions will be tailored to appeal to and engage each age group, but all students will learn to express themselves and have fun behind the camera! Great for all prior experience or fancy cameras required.

We look forward to seeing you or your child At Liberty this summer!

PhotoU Has a New Home!

Hellooooo Bend, Oregon! 

Beth here, PhotoU founder and recent Central Oregon transplant. I am thrilled to be settling into beautiful Bend and can't wait to bring PhotoU classes and workshops to a whole new group of young people. 

So what exactly is PhotoU all about? It's about empowering youth to raise their voices, tap into  their creativity, and explore the world through a new lens. I personally believe that photography is a uniquely powerful tool that offers all of these opportunities for growth, and more. I also believe that young people have a whole lot to say...and through photography, the whole world can listen.

Please explore the website, check out recaps of our previous classes below, and head to our Find a Class page to sign up for our Intro Workshop coming to downtown Bend this April! I hope to see you or your child there!

- Beth Babicz

Summer 2017 Who are U? Class Recap

Who are U? ...Round Two!

In July, we ran our second Who are U? class and had the pleasure of working with two awesome teens, Amelia and Hailey. Taking advantage of the students' summer schedules, the 5 session class ran over the course of one, photo intensive, week. On Monday, the girls were learning how the camera worked and by Friday, were exhibiting their own original photo was really incredible to see how quickly they grew into creative, skilled photographers!

We covered a lot of ground during our week together, learning all about exposure, composition, portraiture, storytelling and editing. For three hours each day, we were in the classroom, behind the camera and lost in the work of many inspiring photographers. The girls also spent their time outside of class creating original photo essays in response to the question "who are you?" The work they produced in such a short time is incredibly beautiful, thoughtful and poignant. Be sure to check it out below.

It was so much fun working with Amelia and Hailey, seeing them gain confidence and develop their own artistic voices...which is what PhotoU is all about! We can't wait to do the same with more Bay Area teens :)

Hailey, Age 15 Hailey's work looks at three different young women in an exploration of what it means to be living in the past, living in the present and living in the future.


Amelia, Age 16 Amelia's work explores the lives of teenage girls, who they are and who they hope to become. 

Spring 2017 Who are U? Class Recap

Two weeks ago marked the end of our Spring 2017 Who are U? Class. After five weeks together, it was bittersweet to say goodbye (for now) to our two students, Sophie and Emily. Spending those Saturdays together, delving into the world of photography, had allowed us to really form a bond and help each other grow as artists. There were so many interesting discussions, fun shoots and moments of inspiration, but the highlight was seeing the girls each develop their own unique photographic interests and aesthetics. The work they produced throughout various in-class shoots and in their final projects showed not only a solid grasp of concepts and techniques taught, but also true creativity and vision.

All in all, the class, and Sophie and Emily specifically, reaffirmed why we do what we do--for the love of photography and the fresh new voices that command to be heard. 

Check out a week by week recap of our class below!


Week 1: In the first week of class, we delved deep into exposure and composition, both in the classroom and out shooting. We reviewed use of aperture, shutter speed and ISO in producing a well-exposed photo, and then explored how these controls can be used creatively to give photos a certain depth of field, quality of motion and noise (or graininess). We began thinking specifically about portrait photography and the various composition techniques that can be used to enhance it, as the class's project prompt was introduced: "who are you?" The girls were asked to answer this question however they liked--the answer could be as narrow as picking one person to profile, or as wide as exploring who we are as humans--and depict their individual responses in a photo series. A discussion on visual storytelling led into a brainstorm, and ideas were born for each student's project. 

Week 2: The second week of class was all about light--the foundation of photography. Knowing how to observe, capture and use light to your advantage is the difference between a casual and a practiced photographer. We explored various lighting techniques and scenarios, working with natural versus artificial light, white balancing for different light sources, and directing subjects into good light (perhaps a photographer's most challenging task!). We also continued our discussion on portraiture and explored what exactly makes a compelling portrait, as well as the traditional, environmental, candid and abstract variations. Armed with this new knowledge, the girls made a plan for shooting their photo projects. 

Week 3: We spent our third Saturday together exploring the 49 Geary St galleries in San Francisco. The Scott Nichols Gallery, Robert Koch Gallery, and Fraenkel Gallery are all photography focused and have a wonderful mini-museum vibe. We were fortunate enough to catch exhibits by some of the biggest names in photography, including Ansel Adams, Danny Lyon and Elliott Erwitt. The trip afforded endless opportunities to expand our visual literacy and simply be inspired. We ended with a short photo walk through the city streets and then the girls were off to execute their "who are you?" shoots. 

Week 4: With their photo projects shot and raw images in hand, the fourth week of class was an editing rundown. We introduced Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and learned how to cull through images, spotting the strongest ones and maximizing their composition (with cropping and cloning), color balance, whites and blacks, and shadows and highlights in post-process. We did a couple of "follow along" edits as a group and then let the students have at it with their own images. 

Week 5: The last week of class started out with a review of the material taught and a fun photo "scavenger hunt." We spent a good portion of our time outside, shooting and flexing our new skills behind the camera. And finally, as a culmination of all the hard work that came before, the last half hour was entirely dedicated to exhibiting Sophie's and Emily's photo projects. Their families joined us for a presentation and discussion of the work, which was the perfect way to end our class. You can see the girls' photo series in their entirety on our Past Projects page.

Many, many thanks to Sophie, Emily and their families for bringing their talents, energy and enthusiasm to our Spring 2017 Who are U? Class! 

February 2017 Intro Workshop Recap

Earlier this year, PhotoU (excitedly!) kicked off its Bay Area programming with an Intro Workshop. Seven young photographers, ranging in age from 13-17, came together to learn, get creative and be inspired. Students spent the day learning how the camera works, how to adjust aperture and shutter speed to take photos in manual mode, and how to create more powerful photos using some simple composition techniques.

After getting the basics down in the classroom, we set off on a photo walk, giving everyone a chance to practice their new skills and gain confidence behind the camera. Each student seemed to gravitate towards their own unique subject matter and it was great to see shooting styles and individual aesthetics emerge. 

As an added bonus, we got lucky with a gorgeous sunset that night, giving us a chance to play with some "golden hour" light.

To round out the workshop, each student chose three photos to share with the class in a fun and constructive group critique. Seeing the beautiful work that was produced in just a few short hours was extremely inspiring--a perfect way to end the day...and gear up for our Spring and Summer classes

To see some of the students' photos from this workshop, head over to our Past Projects page

Welcome to the PhotoU Blog!

Welcome to the brand new PhotoU blog--the place for news on all of our photography classes and workshops for teens in the Bay Area. PhotoU is all about inspiring young photographers and our blog will provide more of just that!

We'll be posting often about upcoming classes, current happenings, event recaps, and plenty of inspiration from around the photography world, so stay tuned!