Mixing up mediums with style

Artisan Club introduces photoshoots to BVH’s campus


Kendall Johnson

On Feb. 9 in room 503, the Artisan club held a “Star Shot Style” photoshoot. Artisan Club President and junior Uriel Lopez is seen taking a film shot of seniors Lisy Neavez, Olivia Meza and Arianna Rodriguez (left to right).

On Feb. 9 the Artisan club held their very first photoshoot, advertising the event on flyers throughout the BVH campus as “Star Shot Style.” The shoot took place in club Advisor Andrea Romero-Marquez’ room 503 during lunch. 

Students participating in the photoshoot are given the opportunity to choose from a Polaroid or film shot, as well as having a red or white flash. The club is selling two digital prints and a digital scan for five dollars, and a single polaroid for three dollars for students who wanted images that appeared as taken through an “old lens”.

“I organized the lighting and camera setups, while [Vice President of the Artisan Club and junior] Sean Advincula helped [by] loading cameras and ensuring that the film was exposed properly. We sold out 20 minutes into lunch which was slightly unexpected,” Artisan Club President and junior Uriel Lopez said.

For this being the club’s first official photoshoot open to students and staff, there was a great turnout. The club will use their profits to purchase general supplies and equipment.

“We’re doing a nonprofit, and putting the money towards more film so we can shoot some more photoshoots in the future,” Advincula said.

After the success of the first photo shoot, the club hosted two more photo shoots the following week for Valentine’s day. They plan to hold more photoshoots this school year in coordination with Associated Student Body (ASB) spirit days and their own original themes. As for the “Star Shot Style” event, Advincula, Lopez and Romero-Marquez felt accomplished with the outcome.

“The purpose of today’s event was to apply some of the things [the Artisan Club] has been learning. A lot of students are creative but they don’t all have an art medium and [prefer] modeling, photoshoots and creative direction,” Romero-Marquez said.

The Artisan Club was introduced onto the Bonita Vista high (BVH) campus in the 2022-2023 school year. They are open to students who want a friendly entrance into the art community. The club covers various types of art forms: jewelry making, screen and block printing, film photography, knitting, crocheting, songwriting and more. 

“I’m trying to achieve a space where students can explore art without any expectations, showing them that they are artists even if they are not good at drawing. There’s something for everyone,” Romero-Marquez said.

Any student who decides to join the Artisan Club is introduced to new interests and hobbies. Romero-Marquez wants the students to be able to use the skills learned in the club and apply them into the real world by creating small businesses. 

“[I want to show students] how to reproduce their art, make a brand for [themselves], throw events, [and] connect with our community in San Diego,” Romero-Marquez said.

The club also holds workshops where they invite both students and staff to lead live demonstrations. Chemistry, Chemistry Honors and Marine Biology teacher Kimya Mahzad took part in the club’s knitting workshop and has helped develop other workshops. 

“We’ve also done film photography workshops led by Lopez. He did a film shooting and developing workshop. We’re also setting up a couple more workshops for screen printing and block printing [in the future,]” Mahzad said.

BVH formerly had a film photography class for students like Lopez who were interested in learning about film photography. Lopez shares how he is able to learn and teach about film photography through the club. 

“The film photography section takes up a large part of the artisan club,” Lopez said. “We try to make a space for students to be able to express their artistic ability without being judged by a letter grade.”

Students who are part of the club are able to express their creative freedom through these workshops and photoshoots. Members are encouraged to share their input and come up with various ideas and projects the club can potentially work on. 

“This is a club that I needed when I was a kid. I needed a place where I was not intimidated by art,” Romero-Marquez said. “This is not just ‘who can draw better?’ It’s mixed media. It gives everyone a chance to explore art. Students have told me this is the reason they come to school.”