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Becoming a member of Rising Star Photography Society has been incredibly influential for me and my High School Application. I have finished an entire year of “Digital Photography for teens,” and earned the title of RSPS Elite Member. I have not only learned how to take photos, but also began to admire beauty in the world. If anyone is interested in pursuing any type of visual art, I would strongly recommend that they attend a RSPS program.

Most other photography programs teach teens how to take good photos, but RSPS teaches students how to take ​outstanding ​masterpieces. By taking photography courses, I have developed my skills in creativity, art, storytelling, confidence, and so many more areas. In just one course, I have learned countless rules that nobody else would’ve ever told me. Even in the introductory course, my peers and I were taught one of the most important rules of photography: take photos that are unique. We were told to capture mundane things from a different angle, pay attention to things often overlooked, and manipulate lighting to create moments people have never seen before.

Learning how to take not only fundamentally good, but also unique, photos has guided me in the Private High School admissions process. During interviews, I would tell my interviewer that one of my biggest passions was photography. After they asked why I loved it so much, I would reply with something like, “I love photography not only because it’s beautiful; photography has taught me to have a different perspective and see the world through a lens of potential. Photography has fostered creativity within me. Everyone has their own unique take on photography. If you have an object, say a flower, millions of photographers would look at the flower each through their own eyes, offering millions of different photos of just one simple everyday object.” After winning the ​AIP Silver Medal for RSPS Youth Member in​ the 2019 New Jersey International Photographic Exhibition, I put my photography on my resume. Photography has helped tremendously, landing me acceptance offers at both The Lawrenceville School and Phillips Exeter Academy.

Photography isn’t only something that High Schools love, it’s a great hobby for life. RSPS teaches people of all ages, skill levels, and locations how to take photos that can capture the beauty in our amazing world. I feel very lucky to be a part of the RSPS community, and I couldn’t imagine where I would be without this

When I first attended the RSPS Photography class, I expected to learn the technical aspects of my Camera. But after the first few classes, I experienced the joy of photography, and met experienced photographers who taught me much broader perspective among many other things. I learned to appreciate great works of photography, which inspired me to explore different subjects from different angles with different techniques, and expanded my art with various elements. RSPS transformed me from someone interested in photography to a strong photographer with passion and unique perspective to the world around me.

Sam Mao

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