Picture perfect

Digital photography exhibition at Burlington Township High School shows off student work

Burlington Township High School digital photography teacher Jaime Cream with one of her students, Naasir Bell, at the opening night of the digital photography exhibition hosted in the high school’s performing arts center. Directly above the two is a close up photo of motorcycle spokes taken by Bell entitled “Lines”.

Stephen Finn

The Sun

“I try to take students who don’t think they have an interest in the arts and show them that it’s like any other skill, it just requires practice and exposure to artwork,” said Jaime Cream, photography and graphic design teacher at Burlington Township High School.

Her photography students’ work is now on display at the high school’s performing arts center and will remain throughout February. On Monday, Jan. 28, Cream held a digital photography exhibition, open to the public, and complete with a full spread of refreshments to show off her students’ artistic eyes and give them a taste of a real gallery showing.

Cream has been with the high school since 2002. Her approach to teaching starts with basic fundamentals, elements and principles that are applied to all the arts, and she builds her curriculum from there, exposing her students to as much of the art world as possible.

“I try to keep pushing them to higher levels, building portfolios, having shows and try to get them celebrated and excited about their work,” said Cream.

The exhibition is meant to be a learning experience for her students as much as it is a showcase of their photography throughout the year. Cream hopes they get a true gallery experience out of the event and pick up on etiquette and how to present their work at a showing.

“I just hope they can see themselves as artists even if they don’t pursue a career in art. I just want them to see that they have that outlet and that creativity, and that they should explore other mediums, not just photography,” said Cream.

Naasir Bell is one of Cream’s students whose photography is on display at the exhibition. Bell is new to photography and took Cream’s class to try it out. He enjoys capturing images of his friends and things from his everyday life.

“Mostly I took pictures of stuff that’s happening around me, hanging out with my friends,” said Bell.

According to Bell, Cream is an awesome teacher and is there to help when her students need her, but allows them the freedom to express themselves.

Charlotte and Rodney Vaughn came to the exhibition to see their son Jalen’s work on display. Although Jalen couldn’t make it to the event, his parents made sure they came out to support their son’s efforts from his first year taking a photography course.

Among Jalen’s work were pictures of exotic animals from a photography trip the class took to the Philadelphia Zoo and a more abstract shot of a bubble floating in mid air. His parents appreciate how the class has been getting their son outside into the world and opening him up to new interests and experiences.

“It was very interesting for him because he’s more introverted,” said Charlotte. “He wants to go to college now and take arts.”

According to his parents, since taking Cream’s class Jalen has turned his family into his art subjects and has started using them for photo shoots. It has become a new way for them to interact with each other.

Although the gallery at the high school’s performing arts center was only open to the public for the night of the exhibition, Cream will be putting together a video of the opening to be emailed to parents and school staff that will include all of the pictures on display.