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Photo Program’s Magazine Launch: Unmasked

by: Andy Xie

Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, a certain group of students continues to push forward to create their magazine no matter what the trials are thrown at them. The virus has caused a major shift in the terms of the schedule that the Photo Program planned, but their persistence to get this done is undeniable. 

The Photo Program consisted of 9th and 12th graders at the beginning of the school year. The program had one end goal: to create a magazine and show it off at the SoHo Apple store. The students came together and voted on this year’s magazine to revolve around the theme: Emotions. Throughout the heated discussions and debate, the team came up with this broad idea and captured anything they saw fit. Whether that be objects, people, expression, it was all to be interpreted. 

The program continued to take their classes online during a Zoom meeting at 3:30 PM sharp every Thursday after the quarantine was announced. The students scrambled to complete their section before the day the magazine was launched on May 15th. 

After editing, cropping, and correct aligning of measurements, the students have done their job. “I really think that our magazine looks good. All the photos are different but I feel like they all connect in a way,” Charli Rodriguez says, an 11th grader that is a part of the Photo Program. Another member of the program agrees. “I like how it turned out. Each section is totally different but it flows really well together,” Brooke Osterholt says after each student finished uploading photos of their section. 

However, a few weeks before the magazine was launched problems occurred. “The magazine does not have enough photos of the Photo Program itself!” said Leigh Klonsky, the Digital Arts and Photography teacher and faculty advisor to the program. Luckily the students had more than plenty of photos of the Photo Program in action. Many pitched in some. 

Although that wasn’t the only problem that remained. Leigh told her photographers, “The magazine needs a title, it can’t be the word emotions. It has to be something similar to it, preferably around two words or one,” Many students thought up ideas, discussed, combined different words into one. After a few polls and tallying, the majority voted for Unmasked by a landslide.   

The pandemic prevented group gatherings which included the presenting of the finished product at the Apple store. Therefore, the team debated whether or not there was any way to present the magazine to friends, families, and others. There was an ongoing topic of using the Zoom app, however, a majority of the students decided to not to hold a launch over zoom because “it would be way chaotic with the number of guests,” a member of the Photo Program said. “It’s a shame that we can’t hold a Zoom call, many of the people are scared to present,” Ms. Klonsky said, laughing.

With the successful creation and launch of the magazine, it is a good opportunity for these students to take a breather and marvel at their own creativity along with the East Side Community, friends, and family. 

This school year, extracurriculars have been canceled and terminated because of COVID-19, but not for these groups of students. During tough times like these, it is hard for one to be positive. However, groups like these are making the most of it and accomplishing huge projects that showcase creativity and resilience. 

Celebrate with the Photo Program with the launch of their magazine and feel free to leave a comment:


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