Photography for Teenagers and Children?

Teens with camera

It’s a fact, some kids really enjoy taking photos.

Over the years since I’ve been teaching, parents have frequently got in touch to ask about photography lessons for their kids. In most cases these are youngsters of around 12-14 years of age. They have just started learning about photography at school, but the lessons haven’t actually taught them very much about using their cameras, tending to focus more on creative thought, studying the work of famous photographers and the more esoteric side of photography.

So they try to complete their school photography projects without really knowing which button to press on their cameras – and what happens when they do. They have little or no mastery over the one piece of technology essential for capturing their images.

It’s a frustration for both parent and child.

In the past I have always taught one-on-one, which is fantastic for the student. However, it takes up a great deal of my time and because I am so short of spare time these days, I am forced to increase my fees. For most parents therefore, private lessons are out of their price range.

Young boy with Fuji mirrorless camera

I had an equiry a few days ago from the parent of an 11 year old and I started thinking about maybe running some workshops for children/teens. Our new training centre would be ideal for this and if we were to run workshops during half-term and other end-of-term school holidays, it would give parents a bit of a break.

I had a long conversation with this parent to see what sort of format would suit her. We talked about half-day workshops verses a whole-day workshops, whether to run multiple sessions with photo-assignments in between and we also discussed what sort of fees might be appropriate. It was a useful conversation.

Useful… but I’m still undecided.

The way you teach an 11 year old, still in primary school, will be very different to the way you teach a 14 year old teenager. Should we restrict our classes to just secondary school pupil age, or should we offer additional classes to much younger children, perhaps as young as 9 or even younger?

I would love to hear from parents what they think and what their experiences are with their own children who are interested in photography.

 

Parents…

Would you prefer a half-day or whole-day workshop?

Would you prefer a single session or multiple session (with photo-assignments set as homework)

Does you child use a ‘proper camera’ or are we talking about camera-phones?

Tell me what you’re thinking and feel free to mention anything not covered in this post.

Kevin Ahronson

Kevin is a full-time professional photographer and has been teaching photography since 2009. He founded the Hampshire School of Photography where he runs photography workshops and gives one to one mentoring to photographers at all levels, from complete beginners through to those who want to turn professional

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