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Photo students have an eye for beauty

March 31, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Beauty has been given a new look at Washington County Technical High School, where cosmetology and digital communications students work together to put their best face forward.

Cosmetology students at the Technical High School now have the benefit of presenting either a portrait or digital portfolio to prospective employers thanks to the keen eyes of their peers in the digital communications pilot program.

A few weeks ago, digital communications teacher John Jones asked cosmetology teacher Marie Bikle if his six students could take photographs of her students' work.

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Jones taught his students how to take photographs at the beginning of the school year as part of their curriculum, which centers on learning the ins and outs of television production.

"It's important that they learn photography before they get into film," he said.

The 15 senior cosmetology students have used their peers' photographs to create book portfolios with their own portrait affixed to the cover. The students then filled the portfolio's inside pages with a mixture of rsum material and pictures cosmetology students took of their work in the salon.

Jones charges $1 for each picture to be taken, he said.

Senior cosmetology student Cheree Lowman, 17, said, "It's the best portrait I've ever taken. It was better than my senior pictures."

Senior digital communications student Denise Lipko, 18, said she learned a lot about lighting, posing and direction through taking the cosmetology students' photos.

Larry Lowe, the school's media specialist, said he wanted to take the portfolios one step further. Needing to teach students how to create PowerPoint presentations, or computerized slide shows, Lowe took the junior cosmetology students and their photographs into the computer lab to create a portfolio on CD-ROM.

"When I went into the real world, I had nothing like this," Bikle said.

Junior cosmetology student Danyele Ripple, 16, showed the rest of her class her PowerPoint presentation, which was dotted with whizzing sound effects to accompany "before" and "after" shots taken of her style subject.

When the "after" shot slid onto the screen, the soulful wail of James Brown's "I feel good" blared from the speakers.

The class of 27 juniors giggled.

Lowe said the girls' portfolios can be saved on CD-ROMs so others can be added later.

Junior cosmetology student Samantha Jackson, 16, said, "When you do it on the CD, it shows them a visual of what you can do instead of just taking a stab in the dark and hiring you."

Senior cosmetology student Nikki Everetts, 17, said she brought her portrait portfolio to an interview at a salon and was hired on the spot.

"It blew her socks off," she said of her new boss. "I felt it helped her to have more confidence in me."

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