By Kaitlyn McCarthy
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Ryann Casey, a photography professor at Camden County College, is more than just an in-class instructor. Though something like a photography class on campus may go unnoticed housed in Lincoln Hall, she has made an impact on others through her admiration and love of art.
“She really cares about what you want to do and where you want to go once you’ve completed her class, not just what work you are producing while you’re in her class,” states Alana Reichfeld, student and friend of Casey. “Ryann is also really open to teaching her students new techniques if they are interested in learning, such as alternate methods, in her off-time, which I think is a really cool quality in her as a professor – that she puts in so much extra time.”
Casey teaches not only at the Blackwood campus at CCC, but also at Gloucester County College, Burlington County College and Richard Stockton College.
She began taking interest in photography when she was 16 when she enrolled in her first photography class. Casey used to be somewhat reserved and shy as a child and began using photography as a tool to meet new people and observe life in a new light.
“It was something I could use to see the world in a different way. It helped me to express myself,” Casey explains.
As she began to establish a passion in life, Casey thrived from there. She received a bachelor of arts degree from Stockton and a master of fine arts/master of science degree from Pratt. While in college, she won several best of show awards in local competitions and received grants while attending for her work. Casey began showcasing her artwork in galleries for portfolio reviews in New York City and Philadelphia.
Casey prefers to teach her students film photography so they may learn to develop images from scratch.
“It’s very important, because it teaches you how to do things yourself. It shows you how to create a good image, rather than just pushing buttons on a digital camera,” she says.
Casey’s main goal as a professor is each student will leave her class being able to enjoy photography and utilize it in their everyday life. Several students say she has completed her mission.
“I would definitely go as far to say that she is my biggest mentor in photography right now,” Reichfeld states, “and honestly probably always will be.”