Monday, February 19, 2018

The sun sets over the top of a horse in this photo, taken by a student at National Geographic Photo Camp. During the program, students were briefed on journalism and photography skills, which they used to interview people and take pictures on the Crow Reservation. In this photo, a woman stitches beadwork, which is used in traditional wear by Crow tribal members. A duo of tipis glow in the night inside the Crow Agency Fairgrounds during Photo Camp MTFlowers are pictured in the foreground as a buffalo stares toward the lens.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Apsaalooke youth uncover new viewpoint through National Geographic Photo Camp

A group of students ages 13 to 19 recently rediscovered their surroundings through a five-day photography and journalism workshop hosted by National Geographic in partnership with Little Big Horn College.

From June 8 to 12, 15 students along with National Geographic photographers and editors camped in tipis in the Crow Agency Fairgrounds sharing knowledge and new perspectives. 

After students were supplied with cameras and briefed on photojournalism, they visited different areas of the Crow Reservation that were both new and very familiar. 

Local shops and people, along with sites like Ok-A-Beh and Pretty Eagle Point, served as pictorial metaphors for the students’ culture, and ultimately, their life.

“I went to places that I’ve never been before,” said Hardin student  Emily Not Afraid. “It also taught me that the clan system should be used as an everyday thing.”

“My favorite part was walking around Crow and interviewing people, asking their Crow names and clans and taking portraits of them,” she continued. “We told stories at night around the campfire and I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about.”

“The objective of the National Geographic Photo Camp is to teach Apsáalooke youth about the roles and responsibilities of the clan system through photography,” Media Manager Farley Fitzgerald stated in a recent e-mail. Students were mentored by National Geographic Photographer David Guttenfelder, Creative Photographer – and former Crow Agency resident – Jonathan Kingston, Creative Editor Stacy Gold, Photography Producer Jeanne Modderman, Digital Associate Photo Editor Mallory Benedict, Photo Camp staff Jim Webb and Jenny Stratton and Crow Anthropologist Aaron Brien.

The students’ final multimedia presentation was shown at Little Big Horn College on Sunday, June 12.

Students who participated were Jordynn Paz, Joanne Other Medicine, Alexandra Other Medicine, Jacinto Brien, Mildus Wilson, Emily Not Afraid, Saraya Foote, Sadye Small, Lanissa Don’t Mix, Isabella Old Elk, Nakia Spotted Horse, Chrisjynn Not Afraid, Icezada Little Light, Mae Little Light, Toby Little Light and Emma Gold.

“We hope Photo Camp Montana will provide the Apsáalooke youth with a creative outlet to share their unique perspectives,” said Kaitlin Yarnall, National Geographic Society’s Deputy Director of the Centers of Excellence, “and an opportunity to engage with National Geographic in new ways.”