The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN
“This man was leading the camel I was riding,” said Weber.

BSM students explore the world through the lens of a camera

September 8, 2014

BSM offers a wide range of photography classes, but seniors Sophie Weber and Mikaela Potter went beyond the school curriculum and embarked on a journey abroad through the National Geographic Photography Expeditions program over the summer.

The program sends students on international trips to help them improve their photography skills with tips and techniques from National Geographic photographers. Weber, who has been interested in the field since freshmen year, first heard about the trip from a flyer found in the BSM photography room and believed it would be an amazing experience. “I wanted to go on a trip that would change my view on life. I knew this trip would help further my knowledge about photography,” said Weber.

Mikaela Potter captured the colorful Italian coast on her excursion.
c/o Mikaela Potter
Potter received training from professional photographers throughout her stay in Italy.

During her three-week expedition, Weber travelled to various places in India––New Dehli, Ladahk, Rajsthan, Jaipur, and Agra––with 23 other students who shared a similar passion for photography. “My favorite part was when I saw the Dalai Lama and the Himalayan Mountains and interacted with the different people throughout India like the monks and nuns,” said Weber.

Not only did she have the chance to explore new photography methods but also had the opportunity to document the culture of India––particularly Buddhism––that is different from what is commonly portrayed by the American media. The group learned a lot about Buddhism and how it is incorporated into the the environment.“I learned that people’s stereotypes of cultures generally aren’t what you experience.” said Weber.

Roughly 6,000 miles away, Potter was in Tuscany, Italy on her National Geographic adventure. In the 12 days she spent travelling the once core of the European Renaissance, Potter too received training from photography professionals and incorporated her skills when capturing the Italian culture and scenery. “I learned many photo techniques including panning and learning to focus more on taking a picture and not editing it,” said Potter.

Mikaela Potter captured the colorful Italian coast on her excursion.
c/o Mikaela Potter
Mikaela Potter captured the colorful Italian coast on her excursion.

The highlight of Potter’s trip was her visit to the coastal region of Italy––Cinque Terre––where she was encouraged to think about her potential future in photography. “It was great because I had one on one time with the National Geographic photographer, Massimo Bassano. Ideally, to be a successful photographer like Massimo would be awesome, even though it’s hard to do,” said Potter.

By working with some of the best photographers, both Weber and Potter have opened doors for their future in the photography business. They plan to continue refining their skills and keeping their eyes peeled for more life-changing opportunities.

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    Brad HurleySep 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Another great article co-written by an extremely talented writer Ella Hurley