Photography Class at Emerson Middle School

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This afternoon I got to share my love of photography with a class of middle school students! It’s been a while now, but a long time ago 😉 I actually was a student at Emerson School here in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s a cute little school that has a great musical and fine arts “program” (can I call it that?). At any rate, Emerson School has a great focus on the arts, and one of my former teachers, Mrs. Borton, recently asked me if I would consider guest teaching for the photography class.

Now, I may be a photographer, but I also love to teach and share my knowledge with others. So, I jumped at the chance to spend a day with a great group of photography students. After sharing some of my work with them as “creative inspiration,” I sent the class out into the hall to complete some assignments in creative imaging (well, at Emerson it’s a more expansive common area).

Emerson Photography Students | Betsy Finn, Betsy's Photography

Emerson Photography Students | Betsy Finn, Betsy's Photography

It’s interesting to see how much photography classes have changed since digital cameras became widespread. While some of the “good old” film experiences are no longer there, going digital allows the students more creativity and quicker feedback. Now, since you’ll probably be asking if I participated in the assignments myself… the answer is “kinda.” Instead of working on all the tasks I gave for the hands-on exercise, I spent some time watching the students and seeing the creative solutions they came up with.

Emerson Photography Class | Betsy Finn, Betsy's Photography

2 Responses

  1. Stephanie

    Hi. I’ve just been told I will be teaching a photography class to middle school students in 6 weeks. I am not a photographer, have only had one class on how to work my camera. I am in need of some ideas on what to teach these kids. It will be a 6 weeks class. I feel lost. I don’t know where to begin or what to assign. Am afraid I will look like an idiot. They will have some school digital cameras to use (not SLR) and won’t be able to take them home. Also, it will be winter outside. Any suggestions????

  2. Betsy Finn

    Hi Stephanie — will the kids already have cameras, or will you need to teach them how to use them? I’d look at it like art class. The main thing you want to do is empower their creativity. Give them some basic concepts to go with, and then let them loose. If you can get advance time with the kids, ask them what they have already done on their own. That will give you a starting point.

    If you have time, make sure to have each kid select their favorite picture they took and do a “exhibit” (even a simple slideshow works fine) so that they can see what everyone did.