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Photograph by Charlotte, at age 9

“The camera is an insturment that teaches people how to see with our a camera.” – Dorthea Lange

Kids + Photography… it’s a combination I can’t ever get enough of! Kim and I have talked about writing a kids photography book for years! There’s just not a lot out there, and we have so much to say we can’t possibly cover it in a 2 hour class.

So, why? Why bother handing a camera to a child? Why sign them up for a photography class? There are several reasons, but let me talk to you about a few.

1. It teaches them how to see. (See quote above by one of my hero’s, Dorthea Lange) When we learn to stop, read light, focus on details, and big scenes too our world becomes more… it’s incredible, and you don’t have to go far to find it! Often it’s in your back yard or even in your home that kids start to find the beauty we are all seeking because they have learned how to take a picture! Creation is shouting for us to notice, and all too often we are in a hurry, and we miss it! I love sitting in a deer blind with my husband for this very reason, I am forced to be still, forced to use all of my senses, and because I am there, I am always blown away by how amazing our world is! That’s what this time with a camera does for kids (and all of us!) we “see”… sometimes things that we’ve been staring at for years. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and help nurture! It’s a life long gift to be able to see like a photographer sees! You’ll never see the world the same way when you learn to find that beauty with a camera.

2. Instant gratification. We don’t think of art as instantly gratifying … but photography (the digital kind!) is! When the shutter clicks, we are able to view the image immediately, and we are able to teach kids how to experiment by moving around a subject, and changing the direction of light. I love ALL art. I have done it all, and I still love to sit with watercolors and paint, but because I can take a picture see what I made, my creative soul is filled daily.

3. Seeing through their eyes. This is my favorite part about showing kids how to take a “good picture” … they take what they’ve learned, and experiment! Everyone sees the world differently, and a picture, even of silly things, shows what is important to your child and tells their story in images.

4. Rules are made to be broken… well, art rules more than the “rules” we have at home and school, though kids can be great at breaking those too sometimes. I love showing kids how to take pictures then watch them try something different and totally ignore the rules. Sometimes the results are different and cool, sometimes they look like a blob of nothing, and sometimes they click the shutter and I can’t even explain what they just did, but I want a copy too. That’s the fun of teaching photography too… we give them a list of images to try to take, and they make it their own by doing it their way. I always show them “the right way”, but love it when they take that, and find their way.

So I’m sure I could come up with 10 more points to talk about why I love sharing photography with kids, but these four are my main reasons.

GUESS WHAT! (This is the announcement you’ve been waiting for!) Lensbaby is sending us some lenses for you and your kids to try for our next class! Seriously! I’ve been in love with Lensbaby lenses for years. Some of my favorite images that I’ve ever taken were shot with Lensbaby lenses… they are dreamy, artistic, beautiful… and completely manual! Don’t freak out about the “manual” part of that sentence. That’s one of the reasons I love them. When Charlotte expressed an interest in photography at age 8, I bought her a little camera from Craig’s List for her birthday, and put a Lensbaby on it right away. I knew for her to understand what it really means to focus she needed to do it herself, and to really get the concept of “aperture” she’d learn best from actually changing it herself on the lens. Guess what? One of her very first images taken with a Lensbaby of a tulip received a champion ribbon at the fair.

In our class we will cover how to use these lenses, and then take a short walk to Holton Green house to practice shooting with them, and even learn how to use them to take macro images. This is a really amazing opportunity for the kids and parents that choose to attend!

We hope you’ll join us! This might be our most favorite kids class yet!!

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