The Description

Through the Lens is a photography and literary arts program with the purpose of displaying the similarities of the camera and the pen/pencil and how both can capture a story or adventure. Through the hands-on use of digital cameras (Sony Cyber Shot RX100), iPads (for editing) and lighting equipment, students will learn the basics of photography while applying the use of literary elements to create narratives based on their photos all while working towards presenting their creative work in a photo gallery.  Students will develop skills within the following areas: photography, literary arts, organization, planning and goal implementation strategies. Each student will receive a book displaying the collective work from the program or display their selected work in a gallery showcase.

Get Fokus’d Productions looks to instruct 10-15 students per workshop (total of 6 workshops). Participants families, friends, peers, and the community at large, will be influenced as their work is displayed in a collective book or gallery showcase.

Check out the video below highlighting the work done this past summer!

This past summer, Get Fokus'd Productions (GFP) provided the Young Audiences’ ArtWorks Apprentices with "Through the Lens" photography programming that utilized the camera as a tool to not only teach photography skills but also assist them in developing the knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits that are critically important to success in collegiate programs, contemporary careers and workplaces in this 21st century and beyond.

Through GFP, Apprentices developed an understanding of how critical photography is to the growth of business/companies, organizations, artists, and more.

Click one of the buttons below to discover more about our program. (Recommended starting point: The Goals")


Get Fokus’d Productions has provided programming/workshops to the following entities:

Say Yes to Education

Erie County Detention Center

Global Concepts Charter

Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)

Gateway Longview

Youth Empowerment & Leadership Program (YEL)

Boys & Girls Club

Buffalo United Charter School

Kenmore East

East High School

Lafayette High School

Penn Yan Elementary (Penn Yan NY)

Highgate Heights

Maryvale Intermediate (Cheektowaga NY)

Harold O Brumsted Elementary School (Holland NY)

Waterfront Elementary

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

& More!

The Goals

The goals of this program are to:

  • Expose youth to: Basic Photography & the Camera, Camera Basics, Composition, Lighting, Basic Photography Elements, Basic Literary Elements, organization, planning, goal implementation strategies and peer collaboration.

  • Engage youth in positive communication and collaborative relationships with adults and peers.

  • Provide students with the opportunity to become functionally knowledgeable in the basics of photography, elements of photography, the camera, composition, lighting, and literary elements. 

  • Assist youth in leading a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and instructor-led) and structured conversations in order to become college and career ready.

  • Guide students into an understanding of how to demonstrate a combination of photography and literary arts skills in order to produce work that will be displayed in a collective book or showcased in a gallery. 

  • Challenge students to expand their flexibility, concentration, and fluency to revisit and make improvements to their creative writing through creating multiple drafts when circumstances encourage or require it. 


Examples of Student Work

The Technology Tools & Supplies Used

All tools and supplies are provided by Get Fokus’d Productions

  • Cameras: Sony Cyber Shot RX100

  • iPad Air (editing/typing)

  • Lighting Equipment: Ring Light, Light Wand

  • Tripods

  • Notebooks (provided by Get Fokus’d Productions)

The Program/Workshop Needs

The following list is needed from school, organization, etc.

  • Internet access

  • Projector & Screen

  • If applicable": Space for gallery & permission to place work on walls

  • Completed Media release forms for all students

The Program Capacity

  • 10 Students minimum

  • 15 Students max

The personnel

Aitina Fareed-Cooke is a graduate of Buffalo State College with a Masters of Science in Education with a focus in Educational Technology, an entrepreneur, and business owner of Get Fokus'd Productions (photo & film company), and has over 15 years experience assisting and collaborating with various organizations to better the lives of youth. She has served as the Say Yes Community Schools’ Navigator for Buffalo Public Schools, Education Coordinator and Teaching Artist at Young Audiences WNY, Youth Services Site Coordinator at the CAO N.U.R.T.U.R.E. Academy After-School & Summer Program, Youth Development Professional at the Boys & Girls Club, Youth Skill Builder at the Heart Foundation and Photography teacher at CEPA Gallery, to name a few.

Aitina has created programs that have improved youth awareness, provided positive solutions for unproductive behaviors, developed community service events that increased parent involvement and strengthened communities. Aitina has successfully created and facilitated multimedia projects for programs and organizations such as: Young Audiences of Western New York, The National Weed & Seed Program, CAO N.U.R.T.U.R.E. Academy After-School & Summer Program, XCEL Leadership Program, and CEPA Gallery's Picturing Poetry, and Mapping Communities Program.

The Investment

The investment of the Get Fokus’d Productions Through the Lens program for 10-15 students varies depending on the end product. The investment includes the use of all program equipment (cameras, technology, etc.), program materials, personnel, photography gallery materials (if applicable), and other miscellaneous items that are needed for the fulfillment of this program.

*Each option includes a USB drive for each student with digital photographic work.

Option A: Through the Lens with a collective book for each student as a final product.

Option B: Through the Lens with a photo gallery showcase as a final product.

Option A: Through the Lens with Collective Photo Book

Each student will receive a USB with their digital photographic work.

Get Fokus’d Productions develops and designs a collective photography book displaying the collective work from students within the program. Each student will receive a book and a USB drive with their digital photographic work.

An extra copy of the collective book is also included for the school/organization’s records.

6 Total Workshops (1-2 per week)

10 students minimum | 15 students max

Total Investment: $1800



Option B: Through the Lens with Gallery Showcase

Each student will receive a USB with all of their personal work

Students will collaborate and plan out their gallery showcase, deciding which of their photos will be included. Selected work will be printed and displayed in the gallery showcase. Gallery showcases can be open to the entire school body/organization, student’s parents, and/or the general public. Get Fokus’d Productions offers a digital flyer for the school or organization to print in the case of a gallery showcase event- no added fee.

Students keep all of their printed images

8 Total Workshops (1-2 per week)

10 students minimum | 15 students max