LA photographer to lead workshop for Nicaraguan students

Fredric Roberts

Fredric Roberts

Award-winning photographer Fredric Roberts is leading a group of international photographers to Managua, Nicaragua for a seven-day workshop, May 25-31, designed to teach 20 high school-aged students who have never used a camera how to tell important stories through the powerful medium of photography.

Roberts, a world-renowned photographer whose work takes him to remote places on earth to capture the essence of the human spirit, believes photography can offer young people a powerful story-telling voice. “I want to empower these students by giving them another language through which they can express themselves, and to give them a tool that will allow them to share their view of the world for the rest of their lives,” Roberts said.

Half of the students are from rural areas, the other half from urban centers. There will be an equal number of boys and girls.

With the assistance from a faculty of world-class photographers and teachers, the students will take photographs centering on the issue of universal access to quality and safe primary education in their country. At every level of education in Nicaragua, many children are not able to learn the skills they need to fulfill their potential. An additional story will involve programs to reduce childhood and maternal mortality by community healthcare volunteers.

It is anticipated that the students’ work will be exhibited in Managua and other parts of the country, as well as via the web. Nicaragua is the second workshop in this series; the first took place in Bhutan in January. Previously, Roberts conducted two workshops in India.

The other photographers joining Roberts on the workshop faculty team are: Sarah Meghan Lee, formerly with USA Today and the Associated Press, and currently an instructor at UC San Diego and San Diego State University; Mike Sakas of Sakas Photo in Hong Kong; Will Van Beckum of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops; Daniel Milnor, Photographer-at-Large for Blurb, Inc.; and Amy Kawadler of Canon USA.

Over the course of each seven-day workshop, a format developed by Roberts, students will be taught to use sophisticated photographic equipment and computer software. The equipment is provided with the support of Samy’s Camera of Los Angeles and other donors. The workshops, including use of equipment, instruction, curriculum materials, transportation, meals and lodging are provided at no cost to the students.

Roberts, a photographer with a significant philanthropic drive, developed his artistic career after 30 years as a Wall Street investment banker who served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of The NASD during an important chapter in the organization’s history. His work capturing people and events around the globe has earned accolades from the New York Times, the Government of India and the International Photography Awards, among others. His images have been exhibited at MOPA in San Diego, the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, Yale University and The United Nations, along with publications such as Outdoor Photographer, The New York Daily News and PC Photo Magazine.

When the workshop in Managua ends, Roberts will donate cameras and photo software so that the students can continue to improve their skills. Local professional photographers in Nicaragua may also participate in the workshop alongside Roberts’ team so they can continue to mentor the student photographers.

“I love bringing world class photographers together to help children, particularly those who have been marginalized, to find their voice and share it through photography,” Roberts said. He and his faculty will be blogging each day at www.fredricrobertsworkshops.org, and will post students’ photos from the workshop.

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