Pandemic Learning, One Year Later: Samantha Nieto, Photography

Photography teacher Samantha Nieto thoughtfully guides students—beginner to advanced—through a breadth of techniques and styles. Whether working in the dark room or editing digital prints, Ms. Nieto encourages students to enjoy the experience of exploration and creation. “In my class, success is finding what excites you within photography,” she shares. 

Skillfully adapting to the hybrid-learning model, Ms. Nieto began filming instructional videos for students working remotely. She wanted to ensure that all of her students could participate meaningfully, whether they were in the photography studio or in their homes. Read on to learn more about Ms. Nieto’s approach to teaching and how she discovered her passion for photography.

What do you love most about teaching at Commonwealth?

The thing I love most about teaching at Commonwealth is working with students who are passionate and self-driven to create art. 

What hybrid-learning adaptation(s) do you think you'll continue using post-pandemic? 

The hybrid-learning adaptation that I will continue using is filming tutorial/instructional videos. I find that they are good to reference later on if a student wants to work on something and needs a refresher. 

What is your favorite project/assignment/topic you teach and why?

My favorite assignment is the final portfolio. It is an opportunity for my students to create a body of work that is meaningful to them and showcase all that they have learned throughout the school year.

What was your favorite class in high school?

My favorite class in high school was photography! That class was my first introduction to the medium. It allowed me to further explore this creative part of myself that I hadn’t given freedom to express. My photography instructor was a big influence, and that really cultivated my interest in the medium and has gotten me where I am today. 

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