Winning Photo: Bighorn Fire. Though I am not a Tucson native, I have lived in Tucson for five years. I really love the landscape in Arizona, so I've always wanted to capture something different and unique. In the summer of 2020, there was a forest fire in the Bighorn area. Like everyone else, I went to the base of the mountain to check the status of the fire. Instead of taking pictures of where all the people clustered, I decided to go to a parking lot and take a macro view of the fire. In order to get more contrast in the photo to show the devouring forest fire, I stayed there until the sky turned dark and took a long exposure photo of the fire. Chenyu Li '21

TGS photography program blends pedagogy, professional experience

Ms. Amy Haskell ‘91 divides her formidable work life between two pursuits: teaching photography and working as a professional photographer through her business, Haskell Photography, with clients that include Williams-Sonoma, Target Stores, and Condé Nast Publications, among many others. It is The Gregory School's great fortune that Ms. Haskell’s careers converge here.

Not only do TGS photography students learn shooting and producing strong photographs, post-production work, film, vintage cameras, traditional printmaking, and much more from a working professional, students particularly interested in photography gain professional opportunities both on and off campus.

Students meet with Ms. Holly Ainza, school registrar, to discuss logistics for their job photographing commencement and 8th grade promotion. The Gregory School photography students can gain professional experience on and off campus.

Tucson Lifestyle Magazine

Chenyu Li ‘21 was photo assistant on this Tucson Lifestyle shoot as part of his senior internship with photography teacher Ms. Amy Haskell’s company, Haskell Photography. In this magazine spread, he also makes his modeling debut!

For example, Ana Martinez, Nick Mojica, and Tyler Sparks, all members of the class of 2022, will be working for The Gregory School alongside Ms. Haskell to photograph the 2021 commencement and 8th grade promotion. “I tell them that when they are doing this, they are not the school’s students,” Ms. Haskell said. “The school is our client and we are professionals who will perform the job.”

"The Gregory School provides me the opportunity to do as many photography-related projects as I need at the school. I find that doing these projects gives me a rewarding experience. I can use my passion to give back to my community."
— Chenyu Li '21.

The most coveted professional opportunity within The Gregory School photography program is a year-long senior internship with Ms. Haskell at Haskell Photography. This year Chenyu Li ‘21 reaped this position. In his first professional field shoot with Ms. Haskell, Chenyu got to work with the editor from Tucson Lifestyle and learn about commercial photography. “It is similar to photos we take every day, yet it requires more intricate details and more careful compositions,” he explained.

“During a normal year, an intern will attend my comercial photoshoots,” Ms. Haskell said. “This can be anything from shooting magazine layouts to ad campaigns and everything in between. The interns get to be hands on with setting up lighting and interacting with my clients. Sometimes they find out they love photography even more, and sometimes they realize that the long meticulous days are not for them. All of that is valuable information.”

In addition to his duties as a photo intern, Chenyu also entered the Arizona Highways 2021 “Adventures in Nature” Student Photo Contest—an assignment required of all Ms. Haskell’s students. On May 6, attending the Zoom award ceremony from their respective homes, Ms. Haskell and Chenyu learned that he won first place out of nearly 4,000 entries. The photo, Bighorn Fire, earned Chenyu a $5,000 cash prize and will appear in several publications. A print will hang in the permanent show at the Nature Conservancy.

“I think Ms. Haskell has really helped me to build my path to where I am right now,” Chenyu said. “She encouraged me along the way. I still remember that when I first met her in class and showed her the pictures I had taken, she said, ‘Photography could be the right path for you!’
Under Mrs. Haskell's guidance, I am able to study more about photography, my passion. She also inspires me to explore more about my passion and possibly find the intersection between my major, economics, and photography.”

View the 2020-21 Gregory School
Student Photography Exhibit 

"I am enjoying getting to see the campus from the perspective of 'faculty', and getting to spend time with the next generation of young photographers is inspiring. The students are so bright, creative and curious, it makes teaching them a lot of fun."
Amy Haskell
It was at some point during Amy Haskell's high school years (St. Gregory, ’91) that she first picked up a camera. She quickly found a passion for the art of photography. After attaining a BFA in photography from University of Arizona, then working in the trenches as a photo-assistant for many years, she decided to break out on her own. Nearing 18 years as owner/operator of her own commercial photography business, Haskell Photography, Amy is eager to share her expertise with the young photographers at the Gregory School. Her work has appeared in national, statewide and local magazines, billboards, coffee table books, movie posters and an assortment of other media worldwide. As an alumna of our school, Amy says "It will be particularly sweet to return to the campus where it all started."

3231 N. Craycroft Road, Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: (520) 327-6395
Fax: (520) 327-8276
The Gregory School is an independent, private,
non-profit 501(C)(3), coed day school for grades 5-12.