Teaching and Babysitting

In addition to running my photography business and rehearsing for Les Miserables every night, I have been spending my days with one of the coolest families ever. This summer, we've been going on lots of adventures: biking to parks near their house, having picnics, and going to the pool. Yesterday, we had a bike and scooter race. Sometimes I have to pinch myself -- it's the best job ever! Champaign-Urbana Family Photography_0001

L, the oldest of the kids, has shown an interest in photography, always taking photos with her iPhone when we're out together. And the more I've looked at her images, the more impressed I was by the composition. She was using the rule of thirds, leading lines, and beautiful framing without thinking twice about it, and was taking some really nice pictures.

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So on Wednesday, I brought my camera with me. And we biked to Meadowbrook Park, parked our bikes, and I went through the basics of the camera with K, L, and R. I first showed them how changing the shutter speed affected the amount of light in a photo. L especially grasped the idea right away, and spent a lot of time changing the dial on the camera to hone in on the perfect exposure. (She was effectively shooting on aperture-priority mode, so just changing the shutter speed while I changed the aperture and ISO.)

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Next up, I taught her how to focus and then recompose, so that what you're focusing on doesn't have to always been in the middle of the picture. She took to that quickly too, realizing that she could also change the depth of field as she determined what she would focus on.

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Then we set up a challenge for L - could she take a series of images in which one of us was in focus in each shot? It took a few tries, but I'm thrilled with her results!

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Finally, the boys got a chance to try their hand with the camera as well. Here is a sampling of the images that all three of them captured in the rest of our time at Meadowbrook. What a blast! These images are all entirely SOOC -- they did such an amazing job, and picked up on the concepts so quickly. I was really proud of them.

Champaign-Urbana Family Photography_0007 Champaign-Urbana Family Photography_0010 Champaign-Urbana Family Photography_0011 Champaign-Urbana Family Photography_0012I have to admit, this has made me start thinking about how neat it would be to teach a basic (basic!) photography class for kids... They are such quick learners, and are quite adept at picking up on the technological aspect of photography. K, L, and R, thank you so much for letting me share your work here!