Teaching photography basics to beginners through these tips and activities will answer all your questions on How to Teach Photography to Elementary Students. Teaching photography to to kids is so rewarding and fun that it will stretch your creativity as a teacher too.
I am SO excited about this post…Why? Because today’s post is written all by an elementary student who is 11 years old and learning photography. She is sharing what she knows to help you learn to teach your children and students photography. Several years ago I held several Kids Photography Workshops and Summer Camps and we had a blast and those kids blew me away…so grab your camera and don’t shy away from teaching your kids photography skills!
How to Teach Photography to Elementary Students
I remember the first time I experienced the world through a viewfinder. My Mom is a sports photographer and she let me use one of her cameras, a Canon 7D to capture my school field trip. As an 11 year old kid in today’s world we are far more tech-savvy which has helped in learning how to use a camera. My Mom placed her camera in my hands showing me the proper way to hold it. She then began to explain some basic rules to start with.
LEARN THE Photography BASICS
- The most important concept in photography is “Fill the Frame” and “Rule of Thirds.”
- “Fill the Frame” simply means your subject must fill the frame to remove distractions.
- “Rule of Thirds” is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. As follows.
- The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines that your photo becomes more balanced and will enable a viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally.
Basic CAMERA SETTINGS
My Mom shoots with both Canon and Nikon cameras. A DSLR camera alone has a lot of different settings and can be overwhelming. However, once I learned what the different setting were used for I became more comfortable with using any camera. I first started out in Automatic which the camera makes all the decisions for you. I found our quickly that some of my images did not look great in low lighting situations. Sometimes, the camera can’t make the necessary adjustments for the environment you are in. After all it is just a camera.
After looking at some of my images my Mom explained to me what Shutter Priority is. It allows you to choose the shutter speed while your camera chooses the aperture. This mode is helpful when you want to control motion blur which is nice since my Mom photographs a lot of sports and there is always something in motion. I know I need to keep my shutter speed at 1/125 of a second. It makes it easier to get a clear shot. This setting I use a lot since I ‘m still learning how to make adjustments to the camera.
Experiment with Photography Activities:
My Mom always encourages me to take the same shot from different angles (above, below, straight-on), distances, and with various backgrounds. We review my shots so I can describe the techniques used and discuss the outcome. This helps me to build on my skills.
Practice is important when learning to make good photographs. Capturing the things I love in pictures makes the process more meaningful and fun for me. You might not see anything interesting to photograph in your living room or your backyard, but try looking at familiar surroundings with fresh eyes. You might catch an interesting trick of the light or find some unexpected wildflowers in your yard. Often, a simple subject makes the best shot. If you’re using a digital camera, the cost of errors is free. Go crazy – you might end up with something you like. You’ll certainly learn a lot in the process.
A few additional thoughts: Are you interested in teaching a Kids Photography Workshop? Here is a guide to give you a checklist of everything you need to make your Kids Photography Workshop successful!!
If you are also looking Photography Activities for Students consider Click it Up A Notch – and their list of fun photo projects.
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