Black + White Photography

About Black + White Photography

Photography allows young artists to develop their own image of the world using black and white film and 35mm cameras. Our young photographers use Rayko Photo Center’s professional darkroom to develop and print their work. They learn the basics in Level I and hone their own artistic vision in Level II. Our young photographers have participated in the American Teenager Project, publishing their portraits with teens from around the country. They have exhibited and sold their work at Rayko Photo Center, the Children’s Creativity Museum, Asterisk Gallery, Adobe Books, Incline Gallery, and Z Space. Students have access to their own camera and develop film themselves, making prints during darkroom time at Rayko Photo Center.


The Photo I class meets Saturday afternoons at Rayko.

With a 35mm camera in hand, your stories are revealed! In this class you learn to use 35mm film cameras to take meaningful and memorable black & white photos. On Saturdays, you’ll spend the afternoon at Rayko Photo Center to develop your photographs in professional darkroom.


The Photo II class, offered each Spring Session, meets Sunday afternoons at Rayko.

Students work in the darkroom, create physical and digital portfolios and engage in critiques. Via peer group discussions and individual meetings with the instructor, students devise a plan for the direction of their photography and shoot independently during the week. There are also be opportunities for peer teaching and giving artist presentations. Technical proficiency with the SLR camera and darkroom is required, as well as having fulfilled 2 (or more!) photo classes/internships at Youth Art Exchange.

Notable Projects

Our photographers are taking pictures all over the city and exhibiting in professional venues. Here are some of the highlights!

  • Digging In: YAX photographs San Francisco’s green spaces, City College of San Francisco Rosenburg Library 2017
  • We Have A Voice: Celebrating Youth Artists in San Francisco, City College of San Francisco Rosenburg Library 2016-2017
  • Portola Photo Project w/Nico Berry Mural, 2016
  • Zine publishing project, 2016
  • Food Access in San Francisco/Urban Gardening Study 2015
  • Mission Shift and Light Trail photography Supervisor Campos’ Office, 2015
  • Mission Shift: Invasion or Gentrification continued, Adobe Books, 2014
  • Mission Shift: Invasion or Gentrification Exhibit, Gallery X, 2014
  • Mission Shift: Invasion or Gentrification Exhibit, Incline Gallery, 2014
  • Photo + Print + Architecture + Fashion Exhibit, Children’s Creativity Museum, 2014
  • Mission Gentrification Documentary Project, 2014
  • Supervisor Yee’s Office, City Hall, Print & Photo Exhibit, 2014
  • Youth Arts Summit Bus Ads, 2014
  • ZSpace, 24 eyes, 12,000 words Photo Exhibit, 2013
  • Asterisk Gallery, Print & Photo Exhibit, 2013
  • Rayko Photo Center, Out of Site Photo Book, 2012

Project Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Autumn SwisherLead Faculty

Autumn Rose Swisher received her Bachelor’s of Fine Art degree in Photography from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2007. She was accepted into the New York Studio Program through Parsons in 2006, spending a semester in New York while interning at the 20×24 Polaroid studio. She is currently a freelance photographer in San Francisco, shooting high end jewelry for companies such as Maya Jewelry, Esqueleto, Fiat Lux, among others and is the head photographer for the Latin American Body Piercing conference in Mexico City and the Association of Professional Body piercers in Las Vegas.

Contact: autumn at youthartexchange dot org | Website:

Brisa AcevesTeaching Assistant

Brisa Aceves is a San Francisco based film photography enthusiast who works with  35mm, 120 medium format and instant films. By day, Brisa is a veterinary technician, RVT and supervisor at a 24 hour emergency and specialty referral practice here in San Francisco. Brisa is member of the Harvey Milk Photo Center, proud supporter and patron of Rayko Photo Center, and enjoys spending days off in the darkroom or out and about visiting collections one of San Francisco’s many museums.

Key Partners