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Finding her Focus, Developing her Passion

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” It is a quote we all have heard, but is that truly the case? For some Tulsa Tech Photography students, the answer is simple – Yes!

Within the two-year program, high school students take Photography 1 as juniors and Photography 2 as seniors. Photography 1 instructor Brandi Simons explains, “We learn how to use 35mm DSLR cameras, Photoshop and Lightroom. Students also learn how to use studio lighting in our studio lab we have set up.”

Walk inside the Owasso Campus and you see showcases of photograph student work first-hand. Some of the most outstanding prints from alumni decorates the campus. Each picture tells the story of the fantastic opportunities awaiting students on the campus.

One student capitalizing on the moment is Sydney Jumper, a junior at Bixby High School. Jumper calls photography her passion and has already turned it into a business. She has booked plenty of jobs, shooting everything from senior pictures to weddings. Jumper’s normal school year was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, but she took to social media to share her feelings.

“Tulsa Tech is my favorite learning place ever,” Jumper wrote. “I get to be with people I love, doing what I love the most. Not only has it allowed me to meet some of the best people I've met, but it allowed me to excel in photography.”

In the post, Jumper says when she learned she was accepted into the Photography program, she “screamed in the hallway and started to cry." She went on to call the Owasso campus a second home and a place where she made so many unforgettable memories and friends.

“The people have restored my faith in humanity, shown me what true friends look like,” Jumper said with a smile. “My new friends have made this experience better than I ever thought it could be.”

A few weeks into distance learning, Jumper shared her post with Mrs. Simons. Simons says she was struggling at the time and missing the face to face interaction of hands-on learning she treasures with her students.

“When Sydney sent me what she had posted on Facebook, it immediately made me cry, and it motivated me to keep on moving forward with this new challenge," Simon said, tearing up. “I don't think she will ever know how much her note meant to me.”

And Jumper has a similar sentiment about those in her class and the impact Tulsa Tech has made in her life.

“The best part about Tech is that I get to go to a school with people who share the same interests,” Jumper said. “I get to go learn about something I’m passionate about, plus I get to learn new things with amazing people that Tulsa Tech brought into my life.”

As Jumper and the rest of her Photography 1 classmates prepare for their senior year, she had this message for her classmates at Tulsa Tech.

“I’m sad to see that this year is over so short, and I won't get to see the people I love until next year,” Jumper wrote. “Thank you so much for giving me the experience of a lifetime. I miss you so much and can’t wait to get back into things. Here’s to one whole year of being a Tulsa Tech student!”

Tulsa Tech can help ignite your passion, start your application and Make Your Own Path today.