Grades 4–8

Location: Visual Arts Bldg., Room 0005

Students learn first to select and frame subject matter from campus locations and home communities. Working in digital labs, they will convert these everyday scenes into works of art, using Adobe Photoshop software to enhance and refine images. Students learn what visually makes a good photograph and how to transform that vision onto paper.

This program is held in the college’s Visual Arts Building—160,000 square feet of art-making opportunity. This building is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the Northeast, providing students with superb studio environments, as well as state-of-the-art software and hardware specifically geared to the demands of professional design and art making.

  • Students must supply their own basic digital camera. (Bring your manuals too!)
  • All other supplies are included in the program fee.
  • Students present their framed and/or matted work for family and friends in a closing exhibition


Typical Day:

9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Beginning of Day Check-In & Warm Up

Each day begins with an introduction to a fun new photography technique. We use this group time to ask questions and talk about what we have learned.

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. New Lesson/Project

Students will practice new skills with daily projects. This is when instructors will demonstrate new techniques such as manual functions of their digital camera, editing on Adobe Photoshop, and high quality printing. We will introduce many types of photography such as landscape, portrait and action photography. We will also look at great images by photographers past and present for inspiration. 

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. LUNCH

A 45 minute lunch break with their Teaching Assistants, usually eaten outside to enjoy the beautiful green space at Purchase College. This is a great time to re-charge for the afternoon by relaxing, playing games, and hanging out with new friends!

12:45 p.m. – 2 p.m. Outdoor Photo Walk or Field Trip

We jump back in for a fun afternoon with a class photo walk and/or field trip. This is when we bring our cameras (don’t forget extra batteries!) and explore different parts of campus. Field trips have included going to the pool to take actions shots of the diving camp, meeting with the Acting Intensive to take headshots, and visiting the world renowned Neuberger Museum. Try out the new skills you have learned!

2:00 pm – 3:00 p.m. Individual Editing/Printing Time 

After a full day of taking pictures, the students have time to edit and print their images, working on their selection of images for the final showcase. The instructors will answer questions and review students’ current projects one-on-one, introducing students to positive artistic feedback and suggestions for next steps.

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. End of Day Check-In

Artistic endeavors finish for the day and everyone engages in responsible studio clean up. We will check in as a group to address any questions or thoughts before heading home for the rest of the day. Ending the day as a group reinforces friendship and artistic community. 

Special Instructions

  • Parent/caregiver check-in and out their student at designated location in Visual Arts Building.
  • Students must bring lunch, refrigerators available.
  • Please be sure that students come they come with plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen since we will be spending lots of time outside enjoying the summer weather.
  • The Visual Arts Building is air conditioned; students may want to bring a sweatshirt​

Student Exhibition

Student share their work with families and friends!  During the program students vote on a theme for their final show. Together the staff and students will mount an exhibition of pieces made during our time together. Students will then bring their work home.

Session I: July 1–July 12
Monday–Friday, 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
$990 for the first registration
$890 for the second registration in the family, Purchase College employees and alumni, and early registrations (received by May 10, 2019)

For a well-rounded summer, combine this program with Young Architects, Young Actors and Performers, Young Journalists, Virtual and Augmented Reality Adventures!, Young Filmmakers, Young Writers, and/or Web App Creator and Python Programmer to maximize your creative experience.

Discount for enrolling in multiple programs.

About the Instructors