I am planning to construct a one day workshop for young photographers. This workshop, will take place on a small tropical island in the West Indies sometime in July, and will feature myself as a guest speaker. The cost for attendance is free, but you must be shorter than 4 feet to attend.
On my island in the West Indies, there is a really tiny school for the children of students who attend the medical school. After talking with the principal, we hashed out an idea to have a mini workshop for the kids, where I would come in and teach them how to take pictures. The whole idea sounded easy enough at the time, but now I am beginning to worry.
I have taught plenty in my time, but for the most part, my students have been well over the drinking age, and on many occasions, AARP members. So, I am trying to figure out how to best approach this idea and come up with an afternoon’s worth of fun with cameras.
Most of the kids will have their parent’s point-and-shoot digital cameras. So, equipment probably won’t be too big of an issue. However, the cameras will probably run the gamut in terms of quality, make and model. As long as they can capture images, and connect to my laptop, they should be just fine.
I was thinking that in the beginning of the session we would start by taking a look at some classic, or stock photos that show off some very simple composition ideas. Later, once they were bored with the slides, we could start playing with the cameras and I would just make sure everyone knew how to press the shutter button and review their photos on the LCD.
Then we would all go out (with a small team of teachers to corral everyone) and we would take pictures. The assignment would be simple, but to the point, and each kid would have to go out and make a fixed number of images.
After a brief snack break and maybe a short nap, I will have downloaded each kid’s shoot into Aperture, making a new album for each student. Then we would go through each kid’s take on the overhead and try and edit down to their favorite pics by show of hands, or yells, or spit wads.
One thing I am thinking of throwing in the mix is Aperture’s light-table feature. During the slideshow portion of the show, once we have a first-cut edit, and if the kids haven’t dozed off, I will try and use the light-table to make a quick selection of the best shots from the day (one from each kid of course), and if all goes well, I will have one of the teachers print the light-table out as a poster for the classroom.
Okay, this is as far as my plan has developed. I have to say, I am a little nervous about the whole thing. I have been told to show no fear, but this could get out of control. I am sure there will be a few “pros” in the class who will argue my star rating methods, and knock me down when I start to talk about RAW vs. Jpeg, and I am also curious to see if any natural artists arise from the pack.
As I am fairly new to the concept of molding small children into the likes of Diane Arbus and Alfred Stieglitz, I am posting this as a call for advice. Please, if you have any words of wisdom for a small photo workshop with a pack of hungry elementary schoolers, let me know ASAP!
Once we finish the class, I plan to make a quick web gallery of the kids’ favorite pics, and any “behind the scenes” shots I take during the day. This way the kids and their parents will be able to share the day of fun and photography with their friends and families back home in the states. Of course I am going to use Aperture to produce the gallery, but I just wish there was a gallery template that looked a little “less professional!”