A new Toccoa Falls College student organization, Looking Outside the Frame has flourished under the leadership of Samara Spence.
Looking Outside the Frame is a photography-focused student organization on the campus of Toccoa Falls College. Officially notarized by the Student Government Association in September, Looking Outside the Frame has quickly developed an active role on campus. The organization’s mission is “to enable photographers to develop both passion and skill for photography by taking risks and engaging in communities around and beyond them.”
Samara Spence, a sophomore at TFC and founder of Looking Outside the Frame, developed an interest in photography and was inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York. Spence loves that people are the focal point of the popular photography project. Through Humans of New York, Stanton highlights everyday people and their stories. It is a simple concept with a huge impact. Spence said that photography can be used as a method of anthropology. She desires to authentically portray people and their lives through Looking Outside the Frame and its photographs.
Spence also enjoys nature photography. When in nature, she feels as though she can experience God and learn more about His character. “I find peace; all my worries are washed away with the sounds of the wind against the trees and water running down a stream.” Spence photographs moments like these so that she can look back and remember them. She hopes that the members of Looking Outside the Frame can experience and share the beauty of nature through photography.
Spence wanted to start a student organization because she was looking for a way to grow as a leader and build a community. While she experienced some difficulties when implementing Looking Outside the Frame, Spence views these bumps in the road as learning lessons.
Working with people is difficult, yet beneficial. Spence has learned when to stand firm on an idea and when to compromise. She said, “ I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone. And as much as you like your idea, sometimes, you should let it go if other people don’t agree with it.” Strong communication is crucial to an organization’s health. Spence has developed in both speech and listening skills. She has found it important to portray respect even when it is difficult. She said, “Leading a group of people will always be a challenge for me, but it is a learning process.”
Through the commitment and work of Spence and other Looking Outside the Frame leaders, the organization has quickly developed a significant presence in the Toccoa Falls College community. The organization is actively meeting and taking advantage of many photography opportunities on and off campus. A strong bond is growing among the members. Being surrounded by students with similar passions yet unique perspectives has been rewarding for Spence.
Looking Outside The Frame meets on Tuesdays at 9:00pm in the Student Center lounge. The organization is not exclusive to skilled photographers. Anyone from the Toccoa Falls Community is welcome to attend. Photojournalist, Jim Loring, will be hosting a workshop on November 29th. Also, Looking Outside the Frame will be providing an opportunity for students to display their photographs and art on December 2nd. More details regarding these events will be advertised in the coming weeks.
Photographs taken by students are showcased on Looking Outside the Frame’s Instagram account: @looking_outside.the_frame. The account posts weekly themes, not to only connect but challenge followers. Participants are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and use creativity.
*Featured image taken by Levi Cornelius.