Teach Photography to Kids Interview with Wendy Magee

Wendy Magee: I own Wendy Magee Photography, and I'm here inCincinnati, Ohio. And primarily I photograph kids and family, newborn, seniors, occasionally a wedding, my off season. 

Cindy from Magazine Mama:
What made you want to start teaching photography to kids?

Wendy Magee:
I used to teach kids. I was a preschool teacher. I have a lot of experience working with kids, and that's why a lot of my photography is geared towards kids and families.


Wendy Magee:
I just got a little itch, and also just another way to make income. I was nervous to do it, and I tinkered around with the idea for a few years, and then your curriculum came out and I was like, I'm still scared to do this, but it's now or never. If I don't I'm never going to do it.  I'm really happy that I did. It was really good.

Cindy from Magazine Mama:

Which curriculum did you use? 

Wendy Magee:
It was the basic digital photography for kids.

Cindy from Magazine Mama:

How  did you structure it? How many days, and how long were the days?


Wendy Magee:
Well, there's a Wyoming Fine Arts Center right down the road. So I kind of structured it the way they did for their summer camps, because it was familiar to our community. So they basically do a five day camp for two hour segments each day, and I priced it at $150 for five days, two hours each day.

Cindy from Magazine Mama:
How many students did you have signed up?

Wendy Magee:
Nine.

Wendy Magee:
I thought if I get four, I'll be happy.

Cindy from Magazine Mama:
How did you get the word out? 

Wendy Magee:
Our community has an email blast, so people from the community can choose to sign up for notifications on community events and stuff. So as a business owner, I'm able to contribute things like that to advertise. I like that a lot.I made a little flyer and printed it on photo paper, and passed it out at events.

Wendy Magee:
Our city has a big festival event. I went around to people that looked like middle schoolers. That's where I targeted my class towards, fifth through eighth grade. And so I just would walk up to the kids and I'd say, "Hey, do you like photography?" And they're like, "Yes." I'm more excited just talking to them and handing them something to take home.  

So that first, and then just little flyers around little local businesses.


Cindy from Magazine Mama:
What advice would you have for any other photographers watching this and thinking they might want to teach, but they might be nervous like you were?

Wendy Magee:
You just have to do it. Right? It's more in your head than what it really is in reality. The kids don't know anything. They're coming to you for guidance, and they're going to be happy to learn whatever you're willing to teach them.

Cindy from Magazine Mama:
What was the most favorite thing that the kids enjoyed?

Wendy Magee:
Just picking pictures. I mean, they loved being behind the camera taking pictures.Each day I had a lesson, but then I would ask them what they wanted to do with that knowledge. How did they want to utilize those skills?

Wendy Magee:
I would give them some options and ideas, and then the majority ruled. So for example for  the lesson on shutter speed they decided to take pictures of moving cars, so we went out on the street and practiced taking pictures of moving cars, so we could get a still picture and also a motion picture. So the car would be blurred, but the rest of the frame was focused.

Wendy Magee:
One day, we decided we were going to have a party and we were going to bring food to share. So before we ate the food, we had to practice food photography, so I think the kids liked that part best.

Cindy from Magazine Mama:
Yeah, I noticed that. I thought that was really great that you tagged the other business that you used their pizza, or their cupcakes, and included them.


Wendy Magee:
Just working with other local businesses is good, too, because people, when I tag that business, everybody on their page also sees what we're going.

Cindy from Magazine Mama:
Do you plan to do this again?


Wendy Magee:
Yeah. One of the things I wish I would have done, now reflecting back on it, isI just don't feel like I had enough time. We were really rushed. The kids really enjoyed what they did, but I feel like each day we had to do something hands-on based on that lesson. So maybe a two part series kids photography camp, where you have one week and then a few weeks off, let them keep practicing those skills, and then come back, refresh, and then incorporate it with the knowledge that they've already learned.

 


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