TILT Institute for the Contemporary Image

Photo in Schools

Photo in Schools brings teaching artists and photographic equipment into Philadelphia middle schools to teach students to create and consider digital photography. Through a dynamic and empowering curriculum, young people learn the technical skills of digital photography while building their visual literacy, socio-political, and communicative skills. Students use photography as a means of telling their narratives and visual art as a platform for their communities.

Building Strong Communicators

Photography and literacy are perfect complements. Writing artist statements, sequencing images for effective storytelling, writing a bio, and dissecting the images they see in media, print, and their textbooks — these all contribute to effective communication and critical thinking skills. 

Going Beyond Visual Literacy

Students are given the opportunity to learn about, question, and discuss the evolution of image making and ways visual language has shifted over time. Through photographic assignments and in-class discussions, connections are made between what they see, what they create, and what they feel it represents. TILT works with the school’s instructors to connect photographic lessons with language arts themes.

Technical and Creative Skill Building

TILT provides students with DSLR cameras to use in and out of the classroom for the duration of the program. Teaching artists guide students through the fundamentals of photography through interactive assignments. Students explore composition, light, color, emotion, and texture. 


Support for Photo in School is provided by The Honickman Foundation and Penn Treaty Special Services District.