Joshua Gould, 15, homeschool. Picture Your World 2013-2014 submission.
Joshua Gould, 15, homeschool. Picture Your World 2013-2014 submission.

Possums, lizards, flowers, insects, landscapes – any and all natural subjects are fair game for the annual Picture your World Youth Photography Project, a weekend workshop for children and teenagers aged 8 to 18. Registration is now open for the 2014-2015 season hosted by Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas (GSA). Each session, Carra Garza, a professional photographer, GSA program manager, and master naturalist, takes youth out into the scenery of a different location. The workshop is $10 for GSA members and $20 for non-members.

The hands-on workshops culminates in a photography contest that awards more than $1,000 to winners and runners-up in two age group divisions and includes student work in the annual Picture Your World calendar (see participant submissions and award-winners from last year in photo gallery above). Proceeds from the calendar go towards sustaining GSA programming.

“I can’t think of a better way to get individuals to care about the environment, because when you get up close and experience the amazing details of the natural world, you can’t help but be awed by the beauty and endless variety of plants and animals and beautiful landscapes of rock and water,” said Julia Murphy, GSA’s new executive director. “(And) that makes you want to learn more and share it with others.  Art, as we know, has the power to move people. When a person is both observing art and capturing it through photography, he or she is doubly affected. I think youth are also surprised to learn how many cool critters and native plant species we have in our area.” 

The workshop will meet Garza on location at Government Canyon State Natural Area, Warbler Woods, River Road Community Garden, Comanche Lookout Park, Green Gateways Conservation Easement, Medina River Natural Area, and the Southwest School of Art for portfolio preparation during the final week. The sessions last from 1-4:30 p.m. Participants may use their own camera or borrow one from GSA.

Registration and additional details are available online at The program is partially supported by CPS Energy.

Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas was founded in 1998 as the Bexar Land Trust, Inc. Its mission is to sustain the natural environment and enhance urban spaces through land conservation, community engagement, and education. In addition to the Picture Your World project, the nonprofit organization works with landowners who are interested in preserving open space and funds and facilitates community gardens in San Antonio.

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Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and mental health. She was the San Antonio Report's...