Have you ever wanted to teach a kids photography class? Perhaps the thought of it was intimidating to you. Why not ease into by having a kids photography club. There will be less pressure and it is something for the kids to look forward to after school. Maybe you want to volunteer at your son or daughter's school or perhaps at the YMCA or local youth center. Below are three top tips for a successful kids photography club.
1) Keep lessons short and simple.
After a long day of sitting a desk in the classroom, the kids will be tired and their short attention spans will be even shorter. Keep your entire class/club meeting to 30-45 minutes.
For a productive class/club that also is fun and engaging try dividing each class into three parts. Each part will last around 10-15 minutes each. Using this template for each class will let the kids know what to expect and make planning easier for you.
- Part one: Review the topic from the last class.
Give a brief overview of what you did last week. Check in with your students. Ask how they did with their projects on this topic over the week. A reminder will help them retain the information they are learning by hearing it more than once.
- Part two: Introduce a new topic.
This is the fun part! Make sure you have narrowed down the topic to something that the students can implement and understand. Invite them to ask questions and try it out on their camera. Hands-on classes let them fully absorb and comprehend the subject matter. If you're looking for some topics we have everything all created in our Basic Digital Photography Curriculum for Kids.
- Part three: Have a photo share time.
Students’ work will progressively get better throughout the class. You will be excited to see them grow as a photographer. Encourage them to bring in their photos. What worked for them? What didn’t work for them? How can they improve?
Note: The first day of the kids photography club there won’t be anything to review, so use an icebreaker such as going around the room asking the kids to share what they love to photograph most and why. Getting the students to talk about themselves will help you understand what they are interested in and find ways to tailor the class to keep them learning and engaged. Start by sharing about yourself and why you got into photography, what you love to shoot and why. You may want to close the end of the first club meeting by showing them some of your work. Perhaps you create a slideshow with some upbeat music.
2) Limit the Class/Club Size.
A larger class/club size may be overwhelming to you, especially if you don’t have any prior experience in teaching in the classroom. Limit the class size to no more than 10-12 kids to begin with. This way you can get to know them better and have an easier time remembering their names. Also, if you have a show and share time at the end of each session this will ensure everyone gets a chance to share throughout the course of the club. Depending on the size of the school and the amount of students showing interest in signing up, you may have to create a waiting list and have two after school club sessions, one for each semester. This is one way to get more photography clients during the month of January or February. Each session could run for approximately 6 to 8 weeks. If you do have a waiting list this will make the club feel more exclusive.
3) Make it fun.
After being in school all day kids will like to have something that they don’t view as “work”. Don’t worry so much about having tests or grading quizes. Keep it light hearted so that the kids will enjoy it. Incorporate games such as hangman or tic-tac-toe when reviewing the prior week’s lesson. Encourage the students to bring in some of their favorite images that they’ve taken and share with the class.