Student photographers up their exposure

Aperture preps photography students for their careers.

Vice-president Harrison Brink (left), president Marissa Pina and treasurer Maggie Andresen. Aaron Windhorst | TTN
Vice-president Harrison Brink (left), president Marissa Pina and treasurer Maggie Andresen. Aaron Windhorst | TTN

Marissa Pina and Maggie Andresen consider photojournalism their full-time jobs.

Pina, a senior and president of the Aperture Agency and Andresen, a sophomore and the treasurer of the Aperture Agency, have built Temple’s photography club from the ground up during the last year.

“An aperture is the part of a camera that opens and lets light in,” Andresen said.

With the only photojournalism program in Philadelphia, Temple hosts a tight-knit group of students passionate about photography and telling stories that formed the club more than 20 years ago as a way to get the students out into Philadelphia photographing events and making contacts.

The agency will send photographers out to events, meetings, or to take headshots, whatever a client might need, for a lower price than professional photographers would charge.

“Fifteen years ago, we were the premiere photo agency for students in the city,” Andresen said. “When I got here, the club had fallen apart. Aperture was nonexistent.”

Pina, the president of the agency said her plan coming into the year was to knock the club down and build it up again.

“This is the first year we’ve actually had jobs for the students,” Pina said. “We’re getting back on solid ground.”

In the first month of school, Pina and Andresen said that organization within the club and participation is already better than in previous years, and that they have already gotten involved in a few projects.

Currently the organization has about 42 members, with 20 that come to the weekly meetings and pick up jobs.

Aperture plans to attend First Friday in Old City on Oct 3. to gain exposure and raise funds for the club. The agency will bring portable printers and set up a movable photo booth to print photos on demand for a small fee.

“I’m excited to be out there in the city selling the photos and getting our name out there,” Pina said. “It will be a new element for us.”

Along with First Friday, Aperture has many projects in the works that will be shown at Temple and in Center City.

Alisa Miller, a member of the agency, started a photography project at Arch Street Methodist Church to feature the homeless and their stories. A pastor at the church appreciated the effort and offered the agency the chance to show their work once a month.

Oct. 18 will be the first of the monthly showings, featuring photos with themes of spirituality and good deeds.

 The group also wants to reach out and make connections with alumni associations, of which Andresen said many are still active and want to be involved.

 Pina, who will graduate in Spring 2015, said that she has received significant of photography experience in the last three years, including her study abroad session in London in 2013.

 “I’m not expecting anything directly, from being in [Aperture,] but just having it on your resume still really helps,” Pina said of her job prospects. “I’m still going to go out into the city and still going to make those connections.”

 Andresen said she is glad to have three more years with the program, and that she will be around to network and get to know the photo community and see people getting jobs.

 Andresen said her dream job would be a combat and conflict photographer and that she dreams to go to South Africa and Rome to study abroad.

 Aperture is currently looking to connect with more Tyler students in the photography program to accommodate students with broader interests, and said it is always accepting more members.

 “There are a lot of young photographers out there still aware of Temple,” Andresen said. “This is a way of getting your name out there and your photographs to the public.

 Pina has made many efforts to get the club more exposure. She is also the art director of Her Campus Temple and is being nominated for homecoming court.

 “Even though we’re students, this is like a full time job,” Pina said. “We wear ten thousand hats, we are constantly running around, working all the time and never sleeping.”

Paige Gross can be reached at

*Editor’s note: Maggie Andresen is a photographer for The Temple News. She played no role in the editing process of this article.

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