2.2 : Introduction
Can you imagine a chef who doesn’t try the soup she is serving? Or a fashion designer who doesn’t touch the fabrics that his designs will be made from? I believe that as educators, we need to try curricular ideas on for size so we can better understand what we are asking from children and families.
We live in a shutter happy world: you probably have a camera in your hand right now, or very nearby. I encourage you to begin this workshop by making time for intentional picture-taking.
Your pictures will not be judged or graded: in fact, you don’t need to share pictures at all if you do not want to. I love the current photo sharing platforms, including Flickr and Instagram - but I don’t post everything that I shoot. I encourage you to look for EVERYDAY MOMENTS in your life, and make the pictures for you, not for an audience. Look for moments that interest you, and take a photo: the way light falls, the way your fried egg looks on a plate; the way the clouds look rolling into town. Through this process, you’re gaining a perspective on the world through a lens - the same perspective children in your classroom will explore with a camera.
If you’re not sure what to shoot, download this list of photography prompts: some words to help you along as you take a photo walk, or just wonder what on earth you might take a photo of.
My top tip: go easy on yourself. Your photos are for you, and there is no such thing as a good or a bad photograph: there is just a photograph. When children take pictures, you won’t be looking at their photos as “good” or “bad”, so try to apply that same idea to your own photography. Remember that taking a photograph is not the same as sharing a photograph!
These skills are ones you’ll apply to your own classroom, as a documenter of children’s learning.
In the rest of this unit, you’ll think about the research and background surrounding children as photographers. Why bother offering photography to children? What is the appeal for children, and what is the purpose? Those are big questions to tackle, so balance that out with your own intentional photography throughout the workshop.