Free After-School Teen Photo Program

Teen Photo is a free after-school program open to any Philadelphia public high school student. It is a transformative experience for each teen who participates. Every student receives 8 months of full, free access to PPAC’s equipment, materials, and expert teaching staff as well as a DSLR camera to take home for the entire school year. Together, students share images and ideas about their lives, build self-confidence as well as new technical skills.

Over 70% of our student’s schools do not offer photography classes. Learning to think critically and creatively through photography opens up a love of learning and helps them grow in every aspect of their academic and personal lives.

Teen Photo runs from September to May with weekly meetings one day per week. Students involved in the program will go out on field trips to art exhibitions around the city, create a public art project, a book of their classes photos and have the chance to exhibit and sell their work in PPAC’s gallery. PPAC provides a DSLR for them to borrow and free supplies.

Teen Photo 2017-2018

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This year’s Teen Photo program is led by Erik James Montgomery and Michelle Wallace. We are proud to have three Teen Photo alumni working with us to help nurture over 60 students.

Sylvester Cooper

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Sylvester Cooper is a Philadelphia photographer, born and raised. He learned photography through Teen Photo 2011-2012. He has shot the walk for NY Fashion Week and many LiveNation events for established and underground performing artists. Syl spends his free time skating, shooting on film, and late nights doing graffiti. His dream is to hitchhike across America to photographing people and places along the way.

Richelle Kota

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Richelle Kota participated in the Teen Photo program in 2014. She is currently finishing her undergraduate degree in Spanish Language and Linguistics at Temple University. She is also an immigrant, writer, and nature enthusiast. Her work has been published by Cordella Magazine, Visual Verse, and Recenter Press. Her book, Where There Were Roses: A Memoir Through Poems was self-published in 2017. She aspires to live a simple life on a farm with many pigs, goats, and dogs.

Amber Rivera

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Amber Rivera is a Philadelphia photographer. Rivera attended undergrad at The University of these arts in May 2017, where she earned her BFA in photography. Rivera has been studio managing at Studio 2424 for a lead Portrait photographer Mark Likosky. Rivera works in documentary portraiture photography and audio recording to build a visual archive that addresses perception, socioeconomic and stereotype. Rivera explores her neighborhood in North Philadelphia, where she meets and connects with those within her community to create a body of work.


Teen Photo is supported by The Julian A. and Lois G. Brodsky Foundation, Connelly Foundation, David A. Cook Beautiful, Useful, Joyful Memorial Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, The Nessa Forman, David Forman, Eleanor and Solomon Forman Family Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial, Kinder Morgan Foundation, Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, The Christopher Ludwick Foundation, Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, PNC Charitable Trusts, and The Lawrence Saunders Fund.

For more information our Teen Photo Coordinator, Michelle Wallace

You can help us serve more teens making a donation to PPAC today. Check out our wishlist on Amazon to see what we need for this year, if you make a purchase it will come right to our doors!