A Camper Shablog

Shabbat Through the Lens

by Jenna Tessler

Today is not a typical Shablog – it’s a camper Shablog!


As Tawonga’s blogger and photographer this summer, I wanted to give campers an opportunity to contribute to the blog. I led a blogging “Shabblective” (An elective on Shabbat) where eight campers channeled their inner photojournalist and captured the magic of Shabbat. The group discussed their experience with photography or digital media, their favorite subjects to photograph and what they thinks makes a “great” image.


From my knowledge as a photography student in university, I shared some rules of basic photographic composition and lighting techniques. Campers became more familiar with cameras, various models, settings, and their functionalities.


Most importantly, I emphasized that having the latest and greatest technology is not what makes you a “good” photographer. You can always have the same camera as someone else but you will never have the same perspective. Photography is a way of seeing and everyone sees differently.


As we meandered as a group, I encouraged campers to find compositions they felt captured the spirit of Shabbat at Tawonga. Campers approached this activity with such enthusiasm and thoughtfulness that come across in the diversity of images posted in the camper-made gallery below.


We ended the block with a group discussion about the “energy” we see in photographs, especially at Camp. Campers reflected on what it was like to be a photographer for a block, as well as what makes Shabbat special.


I thought it was really fun to get to see how everyone else was enjoying Shabbat and what other people chose to do with their Shabbat time. I saw so many smiling people…it was really nice! – Kyla S.


During the buffets, I liked getting to eat with whoever you want, wherever you wanted. I got to eat with my sister during lunch and that seemed like a special privilege. – Ari S.


I think we usually spend time doing our own activities with our own cabins, we don’t really get to see what other people are doing. I think this Shabblective definitely showed multiple perspectives on how people spend Shabbat. – Jayden D.


Everyone celebrates Shabbat differently – some people have a lot of energy and spend their time at the sports field, while others are more calm and participate in the yoga or meditation. It’s really fun to see everyone doing something different. – Adrielle M.


I feel honored to have had the opportunity to bring the campers behind the scenes of the Tawonga blog. I hope that this Shabblective inspires them to continue capturing Camp – a spirit that is felt, and sometimes seen, but can’t always be put into words.


Enjoy both of today’s galleries and stay tuned for pictures from tonight’s all-Camp talent show!

Session III Shabbat Gallery

Camper Shablog Gallery

The gallery below features photos taken by campers in the Camper Shablog elective this afternoon.