The story of Casco Bay High School will be told through photos shared online by, from left in back, Braydon Shaw, Hadil Ramadan and Sasha Saedan and, in front, Sophie Urey and Uther Dadaleares. Kate Irish Collins / The Forecaster

PORTLAND — Kids born during the digital age are used to sharing their everyday lives by posting photos online. It’s the photos that tell the story.

Now administrators at Casco Bay High School on Allen Avenue are turning to student photojournalists to do the same for the school.

“Students are the masters of this medium,” Principal Derek Pierce said this week. “I’m tapping into their knowledge and their perspective to provide a more real, 3D picture of what goes on here.”

“They’re going to see things that I wouldn’t see and they’re going to present them in a more visually interesting way,” Pierce added. “They definitely have more artistry than me. My skills are limited.”

Students at Casco Bay High School in Portland test their mettle on a climbing wall last week. Administrators hope more photos like this one will be shared by new student photojournalists. Courtesy / Casco Bay High School

Pierce recruited two student photographers from each grade to take pictures of class events, school-wide activities, and events open to families and the wider community as well.

Casco Bay High School has Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and Pierce tries to regularly update the Twitter page, which he sees as reaching the broader community, including educators around Maine and outside the state that follow what the school is up to.

He believes Instagram, which all of the volunteer student photographers use personally, will function as a more intra-school and intra-student forum.

The student photogs have yet to submit any of their work to Pierce or Nancy Norton, a parent who has volunteered to help Pierce curate the photos, but both the students and Pierce are excited to see how this effort to document school happenings will play out.

The student photographers vary in the tools they use, with several relying on their cell phone camera and all the accompanying photo manipulation options available, while others are using high-quality digital cameras like a Cannon Rebel or a Nikon D200.

Seniors Uther Dadaleares and Sophie Urey both said they were drawn to the call for student photographers because they believe that photos are a great way to convey information and tell a story.

“Photojournalism is super cool,” Dadaleares said, “because it’s in the moment.”

Urey said while she enjoys taking portraits, taking candid shots of her classmates will be a great way to “capture the spirit of the school.”

Junior Hadil Ramadan volunteered because she wants to be a fashion designer and is drawn to using visual cues to share ideas. Plus, she said, “I have so much fun taking photos.” Some of the things that have drawn her eye lately include a passing train and views from Bradbury Mountain in Pownal.

The junior class took a trip to the mountain last week and Ramadan said looking out from the top was “just lovely.”

Freshman Brayden Shaw wanted to be involved in the photo project because he developed a strong interest in photography after taking classes outside of school last year.

Shaw said he learned a lot about how to focus and to use natural light, skills he’s looking forward to using when taking photos of his fellow students.

Sophomore Sasha Saedan, who said she’s a visual learner, wanted to take part because “you can convey so much with a photo.” Like Ramadan, she’ll mostly be using her cell phone camera to capture what’s going on. “There’s so much you can do with a phone,” Saedan said.

Dadaleares, who is also a filmmaker, uses a Lumix G85. He likes to use the Afterlight app to edit his photos and said he’s looking forward to the chance to “be more creative” in sharing all that goes on at Casco Bay High.

He said there are so many events going on, from movie nights to crew meetings to performances by student groups, that there should be plenty of opportunities to get some good action shots.

All the students said that Casco Bay High is “a great community” and they can’t wait to begin sharing that story.

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