Childrens’ Camera Courses!
“Do you know anyone teaching photography courses for kids?” It only took one email from a client to start my mind racing. A search in my area did not provide much choice. This got me thinking very seriously about starting courses of my own for children. In the months previous I had been speaking in local high schools to students about careers in photography and business. I loved every moment of these talks so I thought why not make something more formal for children?
Within a few short months, my love of children, my passion for photography, and my desire to teach came together. After many hours of piecing together a four hour course for kids aged 8 to 15, and with the generous support of Nikon Pro Services in Canada, “Through Your Eyes…Camera Courses for Kids” was announced.
To date I have had over 70 children participate. Words truly cannot do justice to what this experience has taught me as a person and as a photographer. The feedback I have received from parents and the children themselves after our time together has been heart warming and extremely rewarding.
These children have given me an incredible gift. To see raw passion and a pure eye that has yet to be touched by the influences of the world is refreshing and inspiring.
During our time together I have the children journal about why they love photography, why photos are so important to our lives, what they love to photograph, and what and why they want to learn about photography. I believe it is important to write about these things and to understand what it is that draws us to this medium of expression. Each class has brought new thoughts and perspectives on these topics. After our journaling time, we look through different kinds of photography: people, landscape, advertising, storytelling, product, sports, animals, fine art…
I ask them to chose a favourite photo from the books they have been looking through. They present the photo to the group and describe the elements that draw them to the photo. Elements could include anything from colour, light and expression to the way the photo is composed or how the child relates to what is going on in the picture.
We spend the remainder of our classroom time learning about the camera, lens focal length and how to photograph in a manual setting. I give the children small equations with ISO, aperture and shutter speed and I am always amazed how quickly they learn how these principles interact with each other to change an exposure.
We then head outside to put into practice what they have learned during our time in the class. I let the children roam freely to photograph what speaks to them. I believe at this age it is so important to simply encourage them to link their heart to their eye, to photograph what they love and how they see the world. I encourage them to have the courage to experiment and to listen to their own voices and to honour their vision.
In the final hour, we load up each child’s card and go through their photos one on one with them. This review gives the children a chance to see what they created, to talk about the photos they love most, and discuss what draws them to their favourites.
It was during my last class of 2013 that it became most clear what these children have been teaching me along the way too. I was leading the class into a wooded area – a place that I love and know very well. One child asked to go in a different part of the forest. After we returned from the photo walk and were loading her pictures I was in awe of what she had captured. Things I had not seen in that forest before. This was a moment of learning for me; to look down different paths and to find new ways to see things in my own day to day life and work!
For the majority of these children, this course is their first exposure to formal photography training. To be given the opportunity to inspire, to encourage and to give to these young lives is something that I cherish. The passion in their eyes and the excitement in their voices tells me they have already begun a life long love for photography.
Here is a look at a few images the children took:
Tips for Parents
1) No fancy gear required. Children don’t need anything complicated to start photographing. iPods, iPads, or a simple point and shoot will get them going!
2) Always encourage. Allow them to see the world their way and support the style and voice that belongs to them. The more they listen to themselves the stronger they will be as artists and as human beings.
3) Don’t underestimate how early they can start to grasp photography concepts so introduce the basics when they are young.
4) Live in the moment. As fun as photography is, make sure that kids learn when to put the camera down and just enjoy what is going on around them.
5) Photography is a way to express ones self. Many parents have told me that for their child/teen photography is a way for them to connect to something in their lives. If your child hasn’t quite found their “thing” in a sport or an activity, photography might just be for them.
napcp contributor meet Hilary Camilleri
About the Contributor: My name is Hilary Camilleri and I deeply passionate about children and family photography! I am based out of Kitchener/ Waterloo, Ontario.
New in the NAPCP Store – Holiday Postcard PackWe’re hustlin’ for the holidays and having the BEST time with our seasonal marketing, with these holiday marketing postcard pack designs! There’s a lot of love in the NAPCP Member Community for these beautiful Artifact Uprising postcards. We feel it, and it is so special to see this community come together to share their ideas […]
A Colorful Family Session at Coney IslandInspiration I’m always inspired by the real stories of my families, and my images are an attempt to showcase their unique connection and genuine beauty. This family has chosen adventure to be a central quality of their life together, and are embracing travel with their young daughter and sharing their experiences at dearestdays.com. They wanted […]
What’s in Her Bag: Marisa McDonaldTell us a little about what’s inside your bag. I love my Jo Totes Missy Mint bag! It has custom dividers so I can create perfectly sized sections for my camera and lenses, external pockets, and even a laptop sleeve! My bag pretty much always has a camera (lately, my new Mark IV!), my Sigma […]
#NAPCPColors Round-UpWe rounded up a few of our favorite #NAPCPColors Instagram submissions to kick off our week with a colorful bang! We’re so happy all of our Instagram followers and friends had such a wonderful time participating in this new project, on one of our favorite social media platforms. Julie Campbell Photography Paul Douglas Studio Sandi […]
We are so delighted that you are here. The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is an association whose mission is to promote and support the artistry and integrity of professional child photographers. To accomplish this mission, NAPCP provides the most comprehensive resources for its members, bringing together a community of passionate artists committed to growth in their skills, their artistry, and their businesses.
NAPCP.com (formally pronounced "NAP-C-P") is a place where professional child photographers can come and connect, learn, teach, aspire and grow. It is also a valuable resource for parents who are looking for a professional child photographer in their area, and want to be inspired and educated about our specialized industry.
September Inspired Magazine: Featuring K.C. Crow!
Click here to read our September magazine featuring K.C. Crow! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save Save Save
Announcing Our Second Half 2017 NAPCP International Image Competition Winners!
Hello friends! After much excitement and anticipation, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the winners of our Second Half 2017 NAPCP International Image Competition. Uniquely focused on child photography, the NAPCP International Image Competition features a range of image categories, including Babies, Newborn, Children, Family, Maternity, Siblings, Toddlers, and Seniors. Thank you to our amazing […]
August Inspired Magazine: Featuring Amy Tripple!
Click here to read our August magazine featuring Amy Tripple! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save Save
Free Custom Wallpaper: Shoot. Edit. Share. Repeat.
Free Custom Wallpaper — Competition season is here and today we want to share this free custom wallpaper with you, to download! Download and use this wallpaper for your own personal use. Set it as your device wallpaper or share it via social media. Scroll down for clickable download buttons at the bottom of this […]
The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com