If you’re a teacher or school administrator looking for new ways to engage with your students, it’s time to put photography into focus.
Cameras and photography have long been a part of many school activities — from camera clubs to the school yearbook and school newspaper. But every student can benefit from exposure (pun intended!) to photography in the classroom, not just in extra-curricular activities.
The good news is, you don’t need to be a camera expert or amateur photographer, or have access to the latest and greatest tech, to bring photography to life for your students. Even with a cell phone camera or a disposable camera, your students can start to see and feel the benefits of photography — and when given access to more advanced cameras and accessories, and the knowledge to use them, a whole new world will open up.
Let’s discuss some of the benefits of photography in the classroom, and some fun assignments and projects that you and your students can do.
Here are four benefits of photography in the classroom that your students can realize:
Self-reflection and self-expression can be challenging at any age. Photography is an avenue for anyone, children or adults, to engage their creative side, express themselves, and learn more about themselves — by photographing things that matter to them, or capturing colors that appeal to them. Even the simple act of looking at, or trying, something new can expand an individual’s horizons.
Project idea: As part of a novel study program, encourage your students to imagine that one of the characters has an Instagram account. Ask them to take the photos, and write the captions, as that character.
Aside from the creative aspect of finding the right subject and framing the right shot, there is a functional aspect to photography, notably in learning and adjusting the camera settings to produce the best results, that engages the technical side of the brain as well. Learning photo editing techniques, using software on a computer, a smartphone or tablet, is another technical skill that will benefit your students.
Project idea: Challenge your students to take photos of an object or person, both inside and outside, and during the day and during the night, encouraging them to consider how light or lack or light affects the photographs — and how, with the right equipment or editing software, they can compensate.
Photography, like most creative endeavours, can have a therapeutic effect. It encourages the mind to be in the moment and aware of what’s happening in the world, so that it can be captured with the camera. Photography is fun, challenging and mentally engaging; it can be a distraction from everyday stresses, and provide a sense of pride and accomplishment when a photograph turns out just right.
Project idea: Create a gratitude board and encourage students to think about — and take and post photographs of — events, people or things they’re grateful for.
There’s a whole world waiting to be seen, heard and documented outside the walls of a classroom, and photography is a great way to encourage students to get out there and experience it. Even when shooting still life or indoors, photography encourages movement, in getting up and around a subject to find the perfect angle.
Project idea: Task your students with creating their own “alphabet book” — “A is for apple,” and so on — using photos they’ve taken outdoors or in the world outside the classroom.
You may not be a photography expert — but we are, and we love sharing that expertise with others. Henry’s can help your students “level up” their photography skills, and offer guidance on how you and your colleagues can enhance your curriculum with photography.
When it comes to equipment, we have everything you need, including cameras and accessories from the top brands, as well as audio-visual equipment every school needs to keep up with their tech-savvy students. And we offer attractive educational discounts as well.
Contact us today to find out how we can help bring the benefits of photography to your classroom!