Raise your hand if you think teaching photography techniques to 15 or more 6 – 12 year olds sounds like fun…We don’t see anyone raising their hands out there! Well, it sounded like fun to us (Maria Delon and Danielle Thompson), so we spent two weeks this summer running 5-day Indy Photo Coach photography camps for the Fishers YMCA. We braved the craziness of summer camp as well as 100+ degree weather the first week of camp and rain storms, and campers that were itching to get back to school the final week of camp.
We had 3 groups of campers – those that already knew they loved photography, those that thought it sounded kind of fun, and those whose parents gave them 2 choices; photography camp or sports camp and they hate sports! Most of the kids had simple point and shoot cameras, some of which were purchased over the weekend prior to camp so they didn’t even know how to turn them on!
We did have one camper come up to me on the 2nd day and casually ask, “Will you be reviewing f-stops in this class?” I had to pause for a second… “Did a 10 year old just ask me that?” She was obviously one of the campers that already knew she loved photography and had been exposed to various concepts from her aunt who was a professional photographer.
Although we didn’t cover aperture and f-stops, we did cover beginner’s concepts like:
- How to operate your camera
- Subjects and perspective (worms eye view, birds eye view, Zoomed in/out)
- Freezing action, blurring action, and panning
- Basics of composition
- Portrait photography
After teaching them a few of these concepts everyday, we saw some amazing images come from those little cameras. And because it was summer camp, we couldn’t leave out fun activities like Camera Tag, Mystery Photo Contest, Sidewalk Chalk, and our very own Photobooth!
At the end of the week, we were exhausted, but pleased. We didn’t lose any campers during our outside photo activities, no one lost or broke their camera, and they all told us thank you and let us know how much fun they had during the week. We accomplished what we set out to do….Teach them a few techniques and have some fun! I’m sure we’ll see some of these budding photographers in our higher level classes as they get into their teen years.
Check out a collage of our images below:
Written by Danielle Thompson