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Photo safari teaches 4-H'ers technique, history
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Eleven 4-H members from around the state spent part of spring break sharpening their photography skills while learning about Mississippi history.
“We had interest from some of our 4-H’ers who compete in the photo track to do some in-depth training, so we decided to open it up to all 4-H members in the state,” said Kat Lawrence, a photographer with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
The four-day tour began March 7 at the Jim Henson Museum in Leland. Subsequent stops included Rodney, Natchez, Mount Helena in Rolling Fork, the Vicksburg National Military Park, Grand Gulf Military Park in Port Gibson, Windsor Ruins in Port Gibson, the Old Country Store in Lorman, Clark Creek Nature Area in Wilkinson County and points along the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Participants made a combined photo essay book with the images they took along the way. Every evening Lawrence and Kevin Hudson, also an Extension photographer, reviewed all the images from each day’s stops. They gave the children feedback and helped them choose the photos to include in the book.
“The kids had a blast,” said Christina Meriwether, Extension 4-H agent in Leflore County. “They really enjoyed learning about the places we visited. While they were practicing the techniques the Kat and Kevin went over with them, they were learning something about what they were photographing. I think creating that connection with the story behind the images helped them tell a better story with their photos.”
For Madison Williford, a 4-H’er from Purvis, the safari was her first experience shooting photos for 4-H.
“I’ve always done livestock projects,” she said. “I’ve raised and showed goats and chickens, but I’ve never done photography. My mom is an amateur photographer, and she’s really good. So I’ve been interested in it, but have never competed in contests.
“This was a lot of fun, and visiting these places and learning about them really brings them to life for me. I can picture someone coming down to this cemetery to pray, and I think photography can bring that to life for others who see our images,” Williford said of the family cemetery at Longwood plantation in Natchez.
The book of photographs will be available for purchase to family and other interested individuals. For more information, contact Lawrence at 662-325-1731.