Our Model

At-Risk Youth and Photography during an Outside the Lens program

Since 2001, Outside the Lens (OTL) has delivered its adaptable curriculum to 13,000 children in weekly classes, after-school programs, summer sessions, workshops, and teacher trainings. Students tell their unique personal stories through photography, video, and other digital media forms while under the guidance of writers, journalists, filmmakers, photographers, artists, and teachers.

OTL’s methodology aligns with California State standard-based curriculum to deepen the educational experience. OTL has worked with the San Diego County, Department of Education since 2001 and has sustained itself for 10 years through contract work. In November of 2009, OTL became a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) charity.

OTL targets under-served and at-risk youth grades K-12 throughout San Diego County and uses participatory photography and video, a method in which students are given cameras and videos to document the issues that concern them. The resulting images are used for discussion and to communicate a story to a wider audience.  All projects involve a literacy component and culminate with an exhibition where students present their findings, photographs, videos, and reflections to family, friends, and community.

Our Model

Interested in bringing OTL to your school site?

Teaching abroad? Using our curriculum?

Email: niki@outsidethelens.org