Using the 100cameras Snapshot curriculum, we explored photography techniques such as exposure, composition, shutter speed, aperture, color, and storytelling. We talked about which pictures we liked, and why, and how different techniques can create different moods and emotions. I made sure to share my favorite piece of photography advice - techniques are tools, not rules, and the "best" picture is the one that you like the most.
Henry's station focused on personal development and storytelling skills. The students drew storyboards reflecting on favorite memories, current passions, and future goals. His group also learned about descriptive and abstract language and practiced writing titles and captions to add context to their photos.
Charlotte's station was everyone's favorite - the Photo Station! At the Photo Station, students were given donated cameras and 30 minutes to take pictures and practice photography techniques. We gave out some prompts like "take a picture that makes you laugh" or "look up!" to get the creative juices flowing, but quickly realized that each student had his or her own style. Some students liked taking animal portraits while others preferred nature shots and landscape photography.
At the end of every class, we showed a slideshow of photos from that day. Seeing the kids' faces light up when one of their photos appeared on the big screen was our favorite part - the mix of pride, excitement, a little embarrassment, and the realization of hey, maybe I am a real photographer!
Hoping to magnify that feeling of accomplishment, we planned a full-scale photography exhibit at Thapae East, a local venue known for hosting creative events in its outdoor space, complete with an artsy, minimalist backdrop of bright red crossbeams. We transformed the space into an outdoor art gallery and invited friends, family, and the Chiang Mai community to enjoy a night of photography complete with live music and traditional Shan food and dance.
The event was a great success and really fun for the students and teachers alike but our work isn't over yet! Part of the 100cameras model is to help kids realize that they have the power to support their own community, in part through the sales of their artwork.