For two weeks this summer I taught photography to children grades K-4 at the Fredericksburg Summer Fun Camp. This was the first time that I taught photography to such a young age group. To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I also did not start the two weeks with any preconceived notions on how successful I would be. In fact I thought it might turn out an utter failure but I’m happy to say it wasn’t!
Over the two weeks I had three groups each day for 50 minutes each. The children were group according to the grade they had just finished in school, kindergarten, first and second grades and third and fourth grades. The size of the groups varied from as few as four to as many as fourteen. Thankfully for the larger groups I did have a helper! Most were eager to learn about photography and they all wanted to have fun. After all that is what Summer Fun Camp is all about!
One thing I had to plan for is that not everyone would be bringing a camera. So I had to be creative and find ways for everyone to make some images or be a part of the image making process. I think the success came from including everyone in the image making process even though they could not all make images at the same time. They made portraits of each other, “ghost” images, light trails as well as making images outside. We talked about composition, some of the images they made as well as a few of my images. I think they had the most fun seeing how their “ghost” images looked.
One thing I like when teaching photography are those “wow” moments when the students learn a new technique or see something they really like. There were quite a few of those moments at camp this year. I have been told that the campers really liked the photography class and are looking forward to next year. I’ll have to make sure to rest up for next year because on more than one occasion I had to take a nap when I got home!