The Light Factory

The Light Factory

The Light Factory’s vision is to develop a vibrant, engaged photographic community in the Charlotte area by offering everyone the opportunity to create, understand, and appreciate photography.

The Light Factory began in Charlotte in 1972 with a group of photographers who wanted to gather and talk about their work. Since then, The Light Factory has evolved into a nationally recognized gallery space and a community center serving the Charlotte Mecklenberg region by offering high quality classes, summer camps, and workshops in photography– from the historical processes from the first discovery of photography to the most up to date contemporary practices. We are committed to photography as a means of enriching lives and transforming communities. We provide a thriving cultural center in Charlotte where photographers and enthusiasts gather to share their impressions, techniques and passion; where budding artists from all walks of life have the opportunity to express their creativity by looking at the world through a new lens, and where the most recognized, most acclaimed and occasionally notorious images hang on the wall to educate and inspire.

The Light Factory has provided life changing photography programs to students of all ages throughout the Charlotte Mecklenberg region for several, making a significant and positive impact on schools and educators by inspiring and empowering young minds with the power of image.


  1817 Central Avenue, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28205



Fun with Sunprints: The Cyanotype (Grades: K-12)

Program description

This is one of our favorite photography programs! The Cyanotype is one of the earliest forms of photography, using only light sensitive paper or fabric and sunlight. Students will receive a fun hands-on approach to understanding light by creating their own individual sun print, or cyanotype, using found objects or objects from nature. This lesson can be adapted to suit older students by adding more of a focus on conceptual image creation or showing students how to mix chemistry and coat their own papers. We can also adapt to create full size class murals! Perfect for Autumn and Springtime lesson planning, these images provide excellent prompts for discussion and writing.


Booking / scheduling contact

Laurie Schorr


Program detail
Artistic discipline: Literary Arts, Media, Multi-discipline, Multi-media, Storytelling, Visual Arts
Cultural Origin: Multicultural, Other
Program type: Day Trip, Out-of-School-Time, Professional Development, Residency, Workshop
Population served: Grade 1, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Kindergarten, Pre-K
Subject: English, Language Arts, Literacy, Math, Other, Science, Social Studies / History, Visual Arts
Bilingual: No
Available dates:

Please call 704-333-9755 to ask questions or to schedule a workshop, residency, or professional development experience with The Light Factory’s Education Department.

Available times:

Times are flexible to fit your schedule. During certain times of the year, we may request to start programs after 9am with your students when the sun is completely visible for better exposures.

Length of program: 45 minutes to 1 hour per class
Space / technical requirements:

Access to a flat space outdoors to make exposures. A room with a sink is preferred, or access to a garden hose for the larger group murals.


This activity can be completed at The Light Factory (1817 Central Avenue in the Midwood International Cultural Center) or in your own classroom.

Fees / Ticketing:

Price is based on hours of instruction and materials.


NC Standard Course of Study:

W3- write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, well chosen details and well structured event sequences. Specifically, students will be invited to write about the unique scientific process of sunprints, as well as write a poem or narrative describing the visual image they see in their final prints. SL2- Make strategic use of digital and visual media to express information and enhance understanding of, in this case, light and shadow. Students will see and understand how sunlight creates a shadow, and how sunprint photography will capture a shadow permanently. SL-1- Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

NC Essential Standards:

Art Education, Science K.V.2 Apply creative and critical thinking skills to artistic expression. K.V.2.3 Create original art that does not rely on copying or tracing. K.V.2.1 Recognize that artists may view or interpret art differently. Students will create unique compositions using natural and found objects and will describe them to one another individually and uniquely. 4.P.3 Recognize that energy takes various forms that may be grouped based on their nteraction with matter. 4.P.3.1 Recognize the basic forms of energy (light, sound, heat, electrical, and magnetic) as the ability to cause motion or create change. Specifically, students will understand how light creates change, and how the sun interacts with specific light sensitive chemistry to create a permanent shadow.    


Conducts educational programming for 2 or more years: Yes
Performs criminal background checks on staff with youth contact: Yes
Maintains general liability insurance (Individuals and organizations listed in this Directory can provide proof of insurance upon request. ASC does not hold copies of current documentation for providers): Yes
Three letters of recommendation / references available: Yes
Provides study guides for teachers and or students: Yes
Connects to State and or Common Core Curriculum Standards: Yes
Provides tools to assess student learning (workshops and residencies): Yes
Provides scholarship and reduced fees: Yes
Conducts ongoing assessments of program quality: Yes
Cancellation Policy

This program requires sunlight for the creation of photographic prints. When you schedule a program with The Light Factory, potential alternate make-up dates will be chosen in the case of a cancellation caused by rain or inclement weather.

A 50% deposit is required to reserve your dates and to pay for materials at least one month in advance. If the program is cancelled by the contracted school without a make up date, then the deposit is non-refundable. We make every effort to have make up dates for this program as it is weather dependent and it is a very successful program when completed!