Youth photo lab by Malone, UT

Farragut Middle School digital media art teacher Abigail Malone is offering a summer lab, in conjunction with the University of Tennessee, to teach photography techniques to up to 10 to 15 teens ages 13 to 18.

In her digital media art class, Malone teaches digital art, photography, graphic design, illustration and animation, among other skills. Out of her FMS students, she has had three Best of Show winners and five or six first-place winners, plus other students who placed in competitions.

Malone, who has been teaching for 11 years — four years at FMS — also has had a photography business for about six years, and has held shows and exhibits of her work.

She decided to reach out to teens in Farragut and beyond with athelab/camp, during which she can teach more advanced photography techniques.

“I just feel people would be interested in this,” she said, noting with smartphone camera usage photography has become more popular.

About offering the lab, Malone said, “I have so much fun with this age group. There’s a lot of kids that really get into photography, and it’s just such an accessible media nowadays.

“The lab is kind of like a photography camp,” she added.

However, this course is geared to teenagers.

“It’s just giving them all the tools they need to become a better photographer,” Malone added.

She has partnered with UT Discover Camps, which is hosting the lab at the UT Gardens and UT Arboretum, along with the Knoxville Community Dark Room.

“It is a three- to four-day lab from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 28 through June 30 on the UT campus,” she said, adding potential students also can purchase two additional add-on classes taking place July 1.

While having a camera that is not a smartphone is not required, Malone added, “it would help. I have some they can rent.”

The ticket for the three-day lab costs $299 per participant. The additional ticket for the program from 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, July 1, costs $99.

“I’m making this whole experience for the kids,” she said. At the UT Gardens, “we’re going to be exploring nature and everything that’s blooming … nature photography, photograph composition and observation skills, as well as exploring the gardens and exploring the campus a little bit.”

At the arboretum, students will focus on portraiture and lighting.

Wednesday, June 30, students will be in the darkroom making cyanotypes, which, she explained, are an old process that started hundreds of years ago.

The alternative fourth day ticket is for “kids really into photography and they think they might want to do this as a career,” she said. “They can learn how to create a portfolio, edit photographs, hone their craft and become more of a photographic artist.

“I will also have a guest speaker that day,” Malone added. “That evening (on July 1), I’ve added a golden hour sunset, so if they want to come for the magic hour (to photograph a sunset).”

To take part in the lab, parents can sign up their teens at or the UT Gardens Discovery Camps website at ag.tennessee. edu/utg/Pages/camps.aspx