On the last day of the winter carnival, St. James and Butterfield high school students exhibited their introductory photography work at the community building.

Through the fundamentals, the students are learning to "see" and create artistic images with the freedom to shape their visions.

"Artistic photography isn't just a snapshot," said Lynn Rolshoven, the photography teacher at the St. James high school. "A snapshot is making a memory," whereas photography can be influenced.

The school surveys the students as to what they want to see offered in courses. For years photography has been the number one choice.

Loretta Mortwedt, the media teacher, purchased six camera bundles. The District 840 Foundation purchased another set. The class couldn't go for more than the 13 cameras, each costing around $500.

The course only having started last year, "They wanted to see how everything was going to fly," said Rolshoven.

The fall trimester students were assigned to capture fall colors. Then they ran the images through Pixler, a free photo editing app.

Another assignment included action shots. Maggie Maire, volunteer and field trip coordinator, took the students out to LaSalle, where she knew there were Eagles' nests. The students witnessed a mother eagle fly in and feed her two babies.

"They enjoy the assignments," said Rolshoven. "They're just not as comfortable standing in front of a backdrop and having a classmate take their picture."

An example is the Halloween assignment, also displayed at the community building. The students made masks, wore hoodies, and used props Rolshoven bought at the dollar store. Then the students had to pose. They weren't sure what to do for a while before becoming more animated.

Rolshoven is looking forward to incorporating more storytelling into the photography course. An upcoming assignment will be identity, where she'll ask the students to show her who they are.

"Everyone can have success with [photography]," said Rolshoven. "I teach drawing, painting, 3D arts, arts and crafts, and some kids are better at drawing than other kids. But all the cameras are the same."