Photo Camp workshops featured on National Geographic Proof

See recent work from our Photo Camp projects on National Geographic Proof! These posts feature words and images by Syrian refugees in Jordan, students living in the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, and students facing the challenges of displacement in Ukraine. http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/30/the-story-of-losing-a-homeland-through-the-eyes-of-those-living-it/   http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/12/peace-building-with-cameras-in-south-sudan/   http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/21/life-through-the-lens-of-syrias-uprooted-teens/

Photo Camp South Sudan

Check out our most recent National Geographic Photo Camp video, shot and produced by Matt Moyer and Amy Toensing during Photo Camp South Sudan 2014

Photo Camp Kenya 2014

Photo Camp Kenya 2014

Our staff returned recently from Photo Camp Kenya, where we worked with a group of young Kenyan journalists on telling visual stories of health-related issues, such as HIV and the stigmas associated with the disease. Photographers and teachers on the project included Lynn Johnson, Matt Moyer, Amy Toensing, Jim Webb and Stacy Gold.  What a — Read more…


Crossing Borders - Bates Middle School

Crossing Borders – Bates Middle School

We’re rolling along on our Crossing Borders workshop with a fantastic group of young photographers from Bates Middle School in Annapolis. All have been in the U.S. for less than one year, and VisionWorkshops is helping them learn to tell their journey stories through photography and writing. See more photos from the camp on our — Read more…

Profile of VisionWorkshops Founder Kirsten Elstner

Profile of VisionWorkshops Founder Kirsten Elstner

What gave you the idea to start VisionWorkshops? Before I founded VisionWorkshops I was working as a photographer with The New York Times and the International Red Cross. I got the idea to put the camera in the hands of the youth who were the subject of our photographs so that they could tell the — Read more…

NGPC - Pakistan

NGPC – Pakistan

Our recent Pakistan Photo Camp  marks the second successful collaboration between NG Photo Camp and Internews, an organization whose mission of “empowering local media worldwide” is very well-aligned with our own. The camp set out to provide students with the opportunity to learn skills related to photography and storytelling to help them develop ways of — Read more…


NGPC - Bahamas

NGPC – Bahamas

In partnership with the US Embassy Nassau and The Bahamas National Drug Council, 20 students representing public and private schools on New Providence, Grand Bahama and Crooked Island were selected to participate in this Photo Camp based on the merit of their entries to the “Youth Against Drugs” Essay, Rap and Poetry contest.

A Special Thank You...

A Special Thank You…

As CMJF President and Chairman of our VisionWorkshops Board, Hank Libby, has the unique position of thoughtfully bringing together like-minded organizations in our community that, together, make a more positive and dynamic impact.

Thank You Olympus!

For the past several years, we have been proudly sponsored by the kind folks at Olympus – putting quality cameras in the hands of young people all over the world and fueling the passion for photographic storytelling.  This year was no exception as our inventory was refreshed with Micro Four Thirds technology – Olympus’ easy-to-use — Read more…


All Roads Features NGPC Exhibition!!

All Roads Features NGPC Exhibition!!

EXCITING NEWS!!! Photo Camp Exhibition Featured at the All Roads Film Festival at National Geographic, Washington D.C. Outdoor Courtyard SEPTEMBER 17 – NOVEMBER 18 This photography exhibit features images from National Geographic Photo Camp, a program in which National Geographic photographers work with young people around the world to document their communities. Photos and writing — Read more…

NGPC Baltimore Final Show

NGPC Baltimore Final Show

NGPC Baltimore - Finding Home

NGPC Baltimore – Finding Home

Photo Camp Baltimore brought together refugee youth from Burma and Eritrea now residing in a suburb outside of Baltimore, to explore using photography, writing and audio recordings to tell their own stories of what its like to make a new home.  Every evening students brought home cameras and lessons learned at photo camp to capture — Read more…


Faces of Photo Camp - Baltimore

Faces of Photo Camp – Baltimore

A great way to get to know yourself and others is through making portraits.  National Geographic Photo Camp instructors utilize the process of portrait photography as an incredible tool through which students can look at themselves, each other, and the different people they encounter everyday.  Baltimore  students had the opportunity to take studio portraits of — Read more…

National Geographic Photo Camp - Baltimore

National Geographic Photo Camp – Baltimore

Tomorrow Night! NGPC Presents....

Tomorrow Night! NGPC Presents….


Photo Camp Overview - LIVE on NG!!

Photo Camp Overview – LIVE on NG!!

Our new National Geographic Photo Camp Overview video is now live on National Geographic’s website HERE!  Here you can also find videos of some of the amazing camps we’ve done over the years.  A special thank you to Jim Webb, Pierre Kattar, and the National Geographic staff that helped bring what we do to a — Read more…

Instructor Lynn Johnson - Working to Help Koraput Survivors

Instructor Lynn Johnson – Working to Help Koraput Survivors

One of our fabulous Photo Camp instructors – photographer Lynn Johnson is working on this amazing project, PLEASE READ!! Koraput Survivors Project The attacks came in the night—in Daringbarhi, Koraput, Kandhamal, India—men armed with guns, machetes, fire. First the pastors were targeted, then any Christians who refused to convert back to Hinduism. All fled for — Read more…

National Geographic Photo Camp - Haiti

National Geographic Photo Camp – Haiti

This one has been two years in the making… VisionWorkshops and our partners at National Geographic and Mercy Corps have been trying to make this Photo Camp happen since the devastation of the 2010 earthquake, and it finally came to fruition this year!  Led by National Geographic staffers Susan Poulton and Katel LeDu, and photographers — Read more…


Faces of Photo Camp - Doha

Faces of Photo Camp – Doha

  Portraits are such an integral part of story-telling.  Human beings are naturally drawn to portraits where they can regard another human through eye contact, or portraits that illustrate the environment in which a person lives.  Having our students make portraits of themselves, each other, and people they encounter in the environments they experience during — Read more…

Multimedia Monday!

Multimedia Monday!

It is indeed a multimedia world.  A multi-platform, multi-tasking, multi-cultural world.  VisionWorkshops and National Geographic Photo Camp are now frequently being asked by our partners to keep up with that trend and teach our students the tools for expressing their views and themselves  through these media rich outlets.  Given the amount of content that invades our — Read more…

Ocean For Life in Film Festival!!

Ocean For Life in Film Festival!!

Great News! The 2011 National Geographic Photo Camp – Ocean for Life youth media project titled “Sense of Place” will be featured during the 9th Annual San Francisco Ocean Film Festival on March 8-11, 2012. Congratulations to Bashmah Al-Mesad (Kuwait), Tomas Fuentes-Afflick (California), Erica Haasen Knox (Illinois), Nasser Marzook (Qatar), Molly Struble (Arizona) and Hala — Read more…


NGPC Doha - Instructor Selects

NGPC Doha – Instructor Selects

National Geographic Photo Camp Doha instructor, Isabelle Carbonell, talks about two of her favorite photos here: I was trying to dig into what I jokingly call my “calling the elephant in the room an elephant” theme, being “Women” in a country which does not represent women on photo or film easily. I did a fashion show for — Read more…

Photo Camp Doha!

Photo Camp Doha!

At the end of January, twenty-two high school students from the Qatar Foundation International-supported Arabic language and culture programs in Sao Paulo and Curitiba, Brazil, run by BibliASPA, were paired with students from the Qatar Leadership Academy and Qatar Academy on an educational exploration of Doha, Qatar. National Geographic Photo Camp partnered with QFI to teach digital storytelling — Read more…

NGPC Doha - Instructor Tyrone Turner's Faves!

NGPC Doha – Instructor Tyrone Turner’s Faves!

We were excited to have Photo Camp – Doha, Lead Instructor and National Geographic photographer Tyrone Turner on board as this was his first Photo Camp experience.  Below he shares his favorite images and critiques. National Geographic Photo Camp Doha / Photo by Khalid Al Ibrahim A strong moment, not only of the sunset and Doha in the — Read more…


Disappearing Islands Exhibit Makes it Back to School!

Disappearing Islands Exhibit Makes it Back to School!

Now at Stevenson University, come join us for another fabulous opening of the Smith Island Photo Camp’s Disappearing Islands multimedia exhibit!

On Assignment Workshops!

On Assignment Workshops!

Now adults can have the same Photo Camp experience!! VisionWorkshops is proud to endorse On Assignment Workshops!  This year, On Assignment was founded by National Geographic photographers, and NGPC instructors Matt Moyer and Amy Toensing, to share their passion for photography, travel and self-exploration. “Our cameras have taken us around the globe and allowed us — Read more…

How do you say SOCCER??

How do you say SOCCER??

    “Soccer is very important for our culture. Soccer is passion, love, & dedication but overall, soccer is in our hearts.” – Llisley Flores Twenty five Annapolis High School students showed their talent during VisionWorkshops recent project, “Crossing Borders: how do you say SOCCER?”  The students, all part of the ESOL (English for Speakers — Read more…


Disappearing Islands Photo Camp Exhibit

Disappearing Islands Photo Camp Exhibit

On November 20th, National Geographic Photo Camp exhibited the work of 16 amazing young women from Photo Camp Smith Island 2011 – the first-ever all female Photo Camp, at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.  The opening reception was fantastic, with students, families, and Baltimoreans alike reflecting on the still imagery and multimedia presentation — Read more…

Mentor Spotlight - NGPC Philadelphia Staff

Mentor Spotlight – NGPC Philadelphia Staff

Photo Camp Philly exceeded my expectations as a first timer.  As an NG staffer, you hear about Photo Camps, see various blog posts, and occasionally meet someone who has volunteered for one of the camps.  From all of this information, gleaned by reading and hearing about the Photo Camps, I knew it would be an — Read more…

NGPC Philadelphia Continues

NGPC Philadelphia Continues

The first day of a Photo Camp is always jam-packed with getting to know the cameras, each other, and the surroundings.  For staff and students alike it can be a little overwhelming, but day two is always greeted with fresh eyes, bigger smiles, faces more familiar, and the drive to get out and shoot!  We — Read more…


NGPC Philadelphia Begins!

NGPC Philadelphia Begins!

In partnership with The Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia and Drexel University, 22 middle-school and high-school aged students had the opportunity last weekend to obtain a unique perspective of Philadelphia during National Geographic Photo Camp Philadelphia. From October 7 – 10, 2011, these youth learned tools of photojournalism to tell the story of different Philadelphia neighborhoods, culminating — Read more…

National Geographic Oceans Site!

National Geographic Oceans Site!

We are extremely excited to have the work from our Ocean for Life students be featured on National Geographic’s Oceans website.  The NOAA sponsored field study gave students hands-on experience documenting humanity’s effects on the health of our oceans and how it interconnects us all.  Click the image below for more!

NGPC Smith Island in the News!

NGPC Smith Island in the News!

A link to an article about this Spring’s Smith Island Photo Camp in the Chesapeake Bay Journal.


Remembering Katrina...

Remembering Katrina…

Monday marked six years since the tragedies left in Hurricane Katrina’s wake.  In remembrance, National Geographic’s website has featured the images of our Photo Camp New Orleans students, who photographed their city and their lives only seven short months after the hurricane.

Ocean for Life 2011 - Youth Media Projects

Ocean for Life 2011 – Youth Media Projects

During the National Geographic Photo Camp – Ocean for Life program, students worked in teams with our Media Camp mentors to create 5 short videos, illustrating their ideas about the themes of the OFL program.  Themes of ocean stewardship, interconnectedness, sense of place, and cultural understanding were addressed as the students worked to document each — Read more…

Ocean for Life 2011 - Journey to Santa Cruz Island

Ocean for Life 2011 – Journey to Santa Cruz Island

Our journey out to the Channel Island Marine Sanctuary furthered the Ocean for Life field study by allowing students to develop their own first-hand accounts of how conservation and awareness can restore the natural balance of an environment.   On Anacapa Island, the National Parks Service invited the students to attend a live, underwater interpretive — Read more…


Ocean For Life Field Study Continues ...

Ocean For Life Field Study Continues …

After a thorough introduction to the Ocean for Life program objectives and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, the students began their field study by learning about the elements that help build a healthy foundation of sustenance for marine life.  While doing activities such as water quality testing at popular Hendry’s beach and visiting with — Read more…

National Geographic Photo Camp - Ocean for Life

National Geographic Photo Camp – Ocean for Life

Our National Geographic Photo Camp – Ocean for Life program has begun! In partnership with NOAA, 30 students from Lebanon, Pakistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain,  and all over North America have come together to learn about one another through ocean science, documenting their experience with the help of our NGPC Media Team.  One of our — Read more…

National Geographic Photo Camp - Smith Island, Words From Our Students

National Geographic Photo Camp – Smith Island, Words From Our Students

There are a lot of differences between here and home. For one thing it’s more peaceful. It’s like the rest of the world is on pause. Things are just more beautiful here. In the city a pile of bricks to me, was just a pile of bricks. But here through the eye of my camera — Read more…


National Geographic Photo Camp - Smith Island

National Geographic Photo Camp – Smith Island

Last month, NGPC conducted it’s first ever all-female Photo Camp with 12 girls from the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. Four students from VisionWorkshops’ Crossing Borders program, girls from Iraq and Nepal, accompanied the group as team leaders for the younger girls, new to this type of photographic story-telling program. Their task was to — Read more…

Crossing Borders Baltimore – I Am

This winter, our Crossing Borders program in Baltimore with the Refugee Youth Project, gave 15 refugee teens the opportunity to explore their new city of Baltimore; it’s similarities and differences to their home country, culminating in a visual “letter” to the city and it’s people entitled, “Dear Baltimore.” In April, these students participated in a — Read more…

Olympus Donation

Olympus Donation

Many thanks to Olympus Imaging America! Olympus has just donated a set of their fantastic PEN EPL1 cameras for our photography workshops, to add to their previous sponsorship of digital cameras for our programs.    Here are a few photos of our students learning to tell stories through photography over the years, using their Olympus — Read more…


A Wonderful Night for a Photo Show!

A Wonderful Night for a Photo Show!

The Crossing Borders Photo Exhibition was a huge success last night and quite a treat for the city of Baltimore! A very special thanks to our gracious hosts at the Creative Alliance, and to BCCC’s Refugee Youth Project for making sure that all of the participants and family could attend.  

Crossing Borders Baltimore: Photo Exhibition

Crossing Borders Baltimore: Photo Exhibition

Join us Saturday April 9th, 2011 at 6pm for the opening reception of these wonderful images taken by 15 immigrant and refugee students who have resettled here in Baltimore.

National Geographic Photo Camp Chad - Portraits

National Geographic Photo Camp Chad – Portraits

There were just too many amazing images to fit them all onto one post. Here are the wonderful portraits that students from the third Chad Photo Camp took during their workshop exploring and celebrating the diversity in their own country.     The photography featured here was made possible by the generous support of the — Read more…


National Geographic Photo Camp Chad - Part 3 WOW!!!

National Geographic Photo Camp Chad – Part 3 WOW!!!

I have a confession to make, it’s really rather obvious to those that follow this blog regularly. It has been entirely too long since we’ve posted. So many positive changes afoot that the new year came, flew by, and brought March right on it’s tail. Expect to see some really exciting things coming from us — Read more…

National Geographic Photo Camp Chad - Week 2

National Geographic Photo Camp Chad – Week 2

Week two of NG Photo Camp – Chad, led by Photographer Lynn Johnson, dealt with the themes of promoting leadership and citizenship.  The students were tasked to photograph examples of these themes in various communities of N’Djamena.  The work produced was then again displayed in the Baba Moustafa Cultural Center where the general public could — Read more…

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...  Crossing Borders Baltimore

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch… Crossing Borders Baltimore

While half of our rotating cast of characters, also referred to as volunteers and teaching assistants, were in Chad for National Geographic Photo Camp, the other half remained local to put on yet another successful Crossing Borders- Baltimore. Crossing Borders is our regional initiative to help teens who have immigrated to the US, learn more — Read more…


Giga Who?  Giga What?

Giga Who? Giga What?

GigaPan! Integrating the use of a GigaPan into our programs has yielded some really fantastic results. For those of you out there still scratching your head, GigaPan is not a gigantic frying pan, but an amazing little robot developed by Carnegie Mellon University, with NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group, and a little help from Google. — Read more…

Photo Camp Chad 1

Photo Camp Chad 1

Themes of encouraging cooperation and building community guided the first of our three consecutive Photo Camps in N’Djamena, Chad. Students were assigned to shoot in areas of the city where different examples of those themes could be found and explored. Then our staff led focused group discussions which inspired participants to discover their own unique — Read more…