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Free Photo Workshop for Teens Helps Instill Queens Pride

By Katie Honan | February 23, 2015 7:42am
  The "QNS KID" program will travel around the borough to help teens learn about Queens history. 
The "QNS KID" program will travel around the borough to help teens learn about Queens history. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

CORONA — Calling all shutterbugs.

Teens from around the borough will get a chance to take part in a free photography workshop that is focused on the history, culture and beauty of their borough.

Amy Wu, from QNSMADE, and Steve Vazquez, also known by his Instagram persona Mr. Queenscapes, will host the first "QNS Kid" workshop for participants 13 to 19 on Saturday, March 14.

Wu — who highlights the talent in Queens on her site, and also sells apparel — wanted to do something for the borough's youth and approached Vasquez about a workshop.

They teamed up to create something that will allow kids to learn and appreciate Queens through their mobile phones, snapping pics of what's around them.

 The flier for QNS KID, which is offering a free photography workshop for the borough's kids.
The flier for QNS KID, which is offering a free photography workshop for the borough's kids.
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QNS MADE

Vazquez started his Instagram account, Mr.Queenscapes, last year as both a way to share his love of photography and a way to explore Queens' unique neighborhoods.

Through his project he's discovered a new appreciation for the borough, and he'd like to share that with a younger generation, he said.

"We're Queens kids, we take it for granted," he said of the borough's culture and history. "Why not get kids on a ground level? Why not learn know what you have, and appreciate it now?"

The group will meet up at a location that will be sent to applicants — likely Flushing Meadows-Corona Park— and spend hours exploring, talking and taking pictures of the landmarks in the area.

Participants will also receive 15 percent discounts at The Astoria Bookshop and Belief NYC, an apparel store, as well as free Queens swag from Queens Finest Inc and Horus New York.

The companies are all examples that you "don't have to leave the borough to be successful," Wu said, and she was encouraged by their support. 

"All the 'grownups' are really excited about it," she said.

Vazquez, who has turned his photography hobby into a part-time job with contributions in the Queens Ledger, said the best part about the workshops will be allowing kids build their own sense of hometown pride with just a little discovery.

"There's so much stuff going on right under your nose," he said.

"You don't have to go to Manhattan, you don't have to be 'cool' and go to Brooklyn. Do your research, stay here."

QNSKID participants must be between the ages of 13 and 19 years old. Please email hello@qnsmade.co to sign up and for more information.