Advice on photographing schoolkids - as a teacher

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Desdemona, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Desdemona

    Desdemona TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm a teacher, and a keen photographer. We're encouraged to take photos of interesting stuff we do in school as evidence for inspectors and the like.
    I'm fed up of having lots of dull pictures of kids sitting at desks, either looking awkward or smiling cheesily. When I'm trying to take photos and keep an eye on the other kids at the same time, my creative eye seems to desert me, and I find it hard to come up with ideas to vary my shots.
    Any advice?

    One thing I do find useful is to take shots when the kids are up and about doing something more active, and to use a long lens to capture natural interactions. It's a bit hit and miss, but I have got some lovely shots that way.
     
  2. Yasa

    Yasa TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    What grade are you teaching?
     
  3. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I would bet you to wait until there is a fight then photograph it then interigate the two fighters using the pictures as evidence just for a laugh :p

    in seriousness though...
    I would just try get candid images, I dont think there is much to photograph in school, The only thing i can suggest ism ake your class more fun and creative thus giving something interesting for the kids to do, E.g. if you teach maths, what my maths teacher used to do was on fridays (our last math class for the week) he would play count down like give us a random number we need to make then give us numbers (it never always worked but it was fun trying)
    or if you have a good sence of humor, just tell jokes.
    What subject do you teach, What school (primary / grade school or High school / Senior chool?)
     
  4. Desdemona

    Desdemona TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I teach English in a secondary school - 12-18.
    I've not got the most photogenic of subjects. A typical English class involves kids sitting at desks with books out - they might be doing something very creative and interesting (obviously in my class they always are!), but it's not very dynamic for images, and you can't tell what the kids are doing by the picture - unlike, say, sports or art.

    I often do activities which get them on their feet, and then it's easier to get candid shots. But I'd like to do something a bit more creative.
    I'm short, so I sometimes stand on a chair or desk and shoot down - that gets me funny looks, but it gets across the sense of everyone being involved.

    I'd also like to be able to give my colleagues, who aren't into photography, some easy to remember tips to make their pictures better. (Some are awful!) We have a decent camera at school, a Panasonic DMC-FZ7, and I'd like us to get more use out of it.
     
  5. Annamas

    Annamas TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I can't give you a whole lot of advice, and really, through your education to become a teacher you've probably heard it all too. There is a real push these days to keep teaching interesting, interactive, and fresh. And through that, i bet you have all sorts of interactivy stuff in your curiculum.

    Othello (Desdemona hehe) is a great example. When I was in highschool it was sit and read by ourselves, if the teacher was creative we would take turns reading parts while still sitting at our desks. My grade 12 Advanced English teacher took it up a notch. There was acting (poor, but still it had us doing stuff), and my favorite english memory was having to 'modernize' a scene from Hamlet. Our skit was pathetic compared to some though.

    So really, it's all about how you involve the class, and motivate them out of their chairs. Once this occours, the clickity click should come alot easier. As far as technique, candid shots will be the ones that will stand out. You don't necessarily need a long lense for that, especially in a classrom environement.
     
  6. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Why dont you put forward a request to recruit a few students (thatyou can trust) to take some school photographs, But dont choose nerds (or in otherwords people who get picked on) they wont be as vibrant with their images most likely, your better choosing someone a bit outgoing who wont nick the camera :p

    Also english doesnt have to be a boring subject, in 1st and second year (12 and 13th grade??) my teacher used to jsut make jokes all day... but we somehow learned inbetween all the joking...
    in third year we had a techer who was also a Psycologist so he used psycology to make tricks n stuff, he used to like tel lus to take any coin out our pocket, hide it from him, look at the date, then count from 0 - 9 and he would tell the date, there was loads more he done obvs.

    Also if your young it helps allot
    Do you have any other fun skills you feel the students will like?
    Just try to make them look more vibrant, involved and happy, its also a good thing to keep it going to make your classes interesting thus making the students like your class
    i had some epic teachers at school :p
    some were just geeks but hey, it made the class funny :p
    Just potray what you feel looks good.

    http://www.cardinalnewman.n-lanark.sch.uk/CNHS_School_Of_Ambition/Intro2Evaluation my old school done this
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
  7. Desdemona

    Desdemona TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    HOW bizarre (on an international forum) - that's my old school!

    Well, can't do much about that one! (I was a first yr when CNHS opened!)

    I agree - it certainly isn't. Not in my class!
    But it is quite desk-bound. I have lots of ideas for good lessons, but I'm looking for ways to photograph them that make good images. Might recruit some kids - good idea - they might give me some fresh ideas.
     
  8. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    you went to Cardinal newman in bellshill? :O awesome... what age are you? you might know some of my relatives. (depending on your age)
     
  9. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oaxaca, Mexico
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The first problem that comes to mind is that you've got kids at their most self-conscious age. They see a camera they suddenly pose like their favorite actor/singer or they become clowns.

    My best advice. Take so many photos they get used to it and accept throwing 98% of them away.
     
  10. Desdemona

    Desdemona TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yep, the same one. How weird, eh?
    As for my age, I did say I was a first yr when it opened ... I know Maths is taught well there! :p
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Can we see some of the shots you have already?
     
  12. Desdemona

    Desdemona TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Just as soon as I've worked out how to do that ...
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

photographing school kids