Middle School photography showcase celebrates creative students

Rachel Smith, Reporter

Students gather around, cameras click as numerous flashes go off. Key Peninsula Middle School (KPMS) photography teacher, Michael Hunziker, encourages student expression through the use of photography and Photoshop.

“Photography gives my students a chance to just be creative for creativity’s sake.  At the middle school age, kids are at a pivotal moment in their lives.  They are still wildly imaginative and they are developing the skill set to do something very powerful with

that imagination,” Hunziker said.

The students photography is not only displayed throughout the school but at numerous locations throughout Washington as well.


Ashley Fahey Photo
Ashley Fahey Photo

“KPMS photography is on permanent display in St. Anthony’s Hospital and the Gig Harbor Multicare building.  In the past years we have been featured on Popular Photography Magazine’s website and our work has been on display at the Tacoma Art Museum,
Washington State History Museum and the Governor’s Gallery in Olympia,” Hunziker said.
For the past four years, Hunziker has provided an end of the year slideshow where community members, students, staff and parents can come see the students work throughout the year displayed at the Galaxy theater, free of charge.

“I feel this year’s end of the year slideshow is one of the many ways the Peninsula School District can illustrate to the community the positive work we do and just how talented our kids really are,” Hunziker said. “Also, in this era of STEM, it is nice to show the community that creativity in the arts is still relevant.

Dora Vaughan Photo
Dora Vaughan Photo

With around 100-150 seventh and eighth grade students taking part in Hunziker’s
class, there is a large variety of student expression
shown, more than 600 photos are included, so every student’s outstanding creativity is shown.  Along with showing all the students photography throughout the year, Hunziker also chooses a photographer of the year and a photo of the year.

“The presentation culminates with the photograph selected as the image of the year and the selection of the Photographer of the Year,” Hunziker said.

The student, most often an eighth grader, that is chosen for photographer of the year, receives multiple prizes from local restaurants, stores and theaters.

“This year the winner will receive multiple gift certificates from local Uptown merchants including free meals, movies and more.  The
Galaxy Theatre, Fondi and Blazing Onion all give generously.  This year’s prize will be worth about $400.  Usually I am able to give out a brand new skateboard, as well,” Hunziker said. “With the closing of DaddyO’s Boardroom, I’m currently looking for a new skate shop to participate.  I’m hoping that Northwest Snowboards will step up to the plate.”

The slideshow is open to the community as of Wednesday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m.  Those that would like to come see the middle school students photography throughout the year and hear the announcement of this years photographer of the year, an honor that rewards the most devoted, skilled and creative student that went above and beyond

Aleece Smith Photo
Aleece Smith Photo

the standards, are welcome to take part and experience the show.

“I would love to fill the place,” Hunziker said. “These shows are really something to see.”