Brookline Lens seeks to be flexible amid COVID-19 issues and cancellations
Allen Yu, Staff Writer|January 25, 2022
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY LORI LYNN AND THATO MWOSA
The surge of the COVID-19 Omicron wave is threatening to shut down many businesses and school events. Despite the surge, Brookline Lens is adapting as they persist to fulfill their clients’ requests.
Launched in the fall of 2019, Brookline Lens is an optional semester or full year course which provides students the opportunity to produce free photo and video projects for the high school and the greater Brookline community.
These projects include an informational video on Tappan Green, a mini documentary for the Brookline Recreation Center and a video for the PTO.
On Jan. 12, Brookline Lens had to cancel their launch party for the second time in a row due to issues with COVID-19.
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Bezawit O’Neill, a junior who is one of the project managers, said that the launch party was meant to advertise Brookline Lens to students interested in joining and future clients who may want their services.
“I was part of the group that was in charge of the slideshow presentation,” O’Neill said. “If people wanted some project done or seniors wanted their senior portraits, it was supposed to be an outreach for them to know that Brookline Lens is there to provide that help if they needed it.”
Lori Lynn, a teacher for the course, said it is difficult to plan a virtual launch party event because it was challenging enough to produce the projects.
“We really feel like it’s something that will be better in person. So this year, we’re attempting to do it. It’s tricky because we’re prioritizing our projects for clients,” Lynn said. “But we hope in the future to have some kind of in-person event where people can meet us and learn about what we do.”
Thato Mwosa, another teacher of Brookline Lens, said she hopes to reschedule and plan the in-person event when Omicron dies down.
“We feel like the next couple of months is really for promoting the things that we’ve always wanted to do,” Mwosa said. “We’re going to launch and make sure that people know that we exist, that we’re a great class and we offer students a great opportunity for hands-on learning and to contribute to the community.”
To compensate for the lack of a launch party, Brookline Lens has found other avenues to advertise. Students in the social media team and marketing and advertising team have been working closely to promote Brookline Lens on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok and Twitter, while the website management team has been organizing Brookline Lens website.
“We are thinking of ways that we can advertise what we do and get the word out,” Lynn said. “We want people to know that if they have a project in mind or need help with photos or videos, they can come to us. We’re getting there. But I think there’s still a lot of people that need to learn about us.”
Senior Kamini Bhadauria, a student in Brookline Lens, said COVID-19 caused delays in her project.
“It has slowed down the process of the projects. We’re heading into filming our Brookline Rec video project, but because of COVID-19, we’re very unsure about when we’ll be able to film and interview people,” Bhadauria said.
Despite COVID-19 affecting the students’ experiences in Brookline Lens, students said they are glad that they are able to learn about photography, filmmaking and how to communicate with clients.
“It’s a great experience that you can use in any field that you’re going to do when you move on with different levels of high school or also college,” O’Neill said. “I think for any student, if you have any interest in filmmaking or photography, or even if you don’t and you just want to experience something new, I’d definitely say Brookline Lens is a great experience.”
Lynn and Mwosa said they hope that Brookline Lens grows and that they can be a pillar for those who may need their services.
“We have so much potential, and we hope that more and more people come to us,” Mwosa said. “We want people to just know that we’re here to help and understand that when they come to us, they’re also giving students an opportunity to learn, to work with clients and to develop their skills.”
Brookline Lens provides clients with free photography or videography services. Clients can offer to pay a stipend. To request their services, reach them at email@example.com or at their website Photo Video Productions House | The Brookline Lens | United States