OTL Blog

The source for photography tips, student news, and exciting updates from OTL.

Program Spotlight: FOTO TJ

Written by OTL Staff Editor on August 12 2019

“In talking with Rigo Reyes, he introduced me to this concept of Tijuana and San Diego as being a region… a region where there are more commonalities rather than differences.” Read Post

Through My Lens: Clarence Ford

Written by Kevin Tung on April 11 2019

It’s an empowering feeling to go into the jails and talk to the men and women about my experience. It’s also therapeutic for me. Read Post

Through My Lens: Shalita Williams

Written by Kevin Tung on April 04 2019

Many people in society look at people who have been to jail as criminals, and as nothing. This film showed how individuals are only a product of their environment, and if they had access to resources and quality education they most likely would never have been incarcerated. Read Post

Through My Lens: Skylar Economy

Written by Kevin Tung on April 01 2019

To me, documentary is the purest form of humanity and life that film can capture - so I want to explore how one can use the tropes of documentary in scripted film. I would want to direct/produce culturally and socially relevant + important films (which can be rare in Hollywood), casting all non-actors local to the region the film takes place. Read Post

Through My Lens: Sienna DiMuro

Written by Kevin Tung on January 14 2019

I truly believe that scars are our most beautiful battle wounds. When I was walking through that room, and making eye contact with the guests, I was sharing things I had never said out loud before. I took over the entire room, and saw within myself this amazing power. In that moment I was finally able to own my story, which I never thought I could do. Read Post

Through My Lens: Christina Gustin

Written by Kevin Tung on January 09 2019

"You teach a skill like photography, but then you empower kids to find their inner voice, and tell their own unique stories with photographs. You teach them to tell other people’s stories, and how to create change in their communities. You’re creating these artistic, expressive, empowered community activists, who want to change the world and they actually know how to do it. That’s such a powerful thing.” Read Post


Written by Kevin Tung on October 12 2018

We created images that represent who we are, and wrote poems about our past. We met folks with unsteady health conditions who taught us about endurance, perseverance, and the joy of life. We explored Tijuana - a city filled with colors, flavors, and smells. We learned about local art, walked through the streets, and captured images that were always intriguing and in some cases new and innovative. After our journey, we had a final exhibit where we talked about our work and why it is important to continue creating images that represent who we are! Read Post

Through My Lens: Armando

Written by Kevin Tung on September 06 2018

Armando is a senior at La Jolla Day Country school. This will be his first year joining the Youth Council. When he gets to college he plans on pursuing a major in Photography and a minor in Business and Entrepreneurship. Read Post


Written by Carly Matsumoto on June 04 2018

There is an exhilarating feeling that comes with traveling somewhere new; smiling at an unfamiliar face, scarfing down local cuisine, touching your bare feet on the grass, jamming to a new beat. I’d describe it as an immediate vulnerability with the unknown; holding hands with the excitement of exploration. I have been incredibly fortunate to have had this feeling many times, and I never want it to stop. Read Post

In Translation: The Camera as a Catalyst for Conversation

Written by Lucy Eagleson on April 23 2018

We’re only driving 35 miles, but the distance feels further. Julia, an immersion trip coordinator for USD’s service learning program, dashes us through the freeway lanes and swifty carries us in her small car across the Otay Border. We drive east towards Tecate, far from downtown Tijuana, far from the housing developments, down a long hill to land at a lightly maintained road leading us up to Albergue las Memorias - a center for those living with HIV/AIDS, addictions, and their family members. Read Post

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