School of Communication Lecturer Leonardo Carrizo spends his summer months sharpening his skills outside of the classroom by taking high school students on expeditions abroad with National Geographic.
Carrizo received his master’s in Spanish from The Ohio State University and a master’s in photography from Ohio University. He combines both of these degrees to help students explore their photography skillsets in Spanish speaking countries.
National Geographic offers student travel programs around the world each summer for both middle and high school students. These expeditions pair biology, archaeology, community service, film, photography, creative writing and more, which allows for a lot of crossover and collaboration between the disciplines.
“There’s ways that you can create bridges within fields that helps everyone grow,” said Carrizo.
With National Geographic, Carrizo has led student trips to Ecuador and Peru. These expeditions are about 18 days long and 15 to 20 students embark on each expedition. This summer will be his fourth year traveling with National Geographic.
Carrizo shared that he has gone on expeditions with both photography and biology students. In theory, these are two different fields, but Carrizo said, “In reality, these groups can work together because how do you show the biodiversity of a place. Photography is the best way to showcase that.”
For these students, these expeditions build character as they are looking to build nice experiences before they head to college and determine a career path.
What Carrizo enjoys most about this program is that these trips allow him to grow both personally and as a photographer. “These are expeditions, so the idea is that you go out and discover and learn to be a traveler, not a tourist,” Carrizo said.
“[On these expeditions] you are going to have an exploration of yourself, and also the actual skillset of photography. Everything through photography is discovery,” Carrizo said. “If [these students] want to be a National Geographic photographer, that’s awesome. But, if they want to become a traveler and learn how to interact with people from different cultures then that is a big win for these students also.”
Carrizo also went on another trip with Putney Student Travel, which also offers multidisciplinary travel programs for middle and high school students. With Putney Student Travel, Carrizo traveled to Barcelona and hosted a photography seminar.
When it comes to photography styles, Carrizo views himself as more of a people and culture photographer, so he uses these trips to learn how to improve his landscape and wildlife photography skills.
“I like the idea of finding new things,” Carrizo said. “And it doesn’t have to be going to new places. I love going to new places, but even in the same places you go back to you can always find new things. The idea that I will always be learning and always be active while taking pictures is pretty amazing.”