As my first ever tween & teenager Workshop attendees came in to the room, I was feeling excited and nervous. The excitement came from doing something completely fresh and new, and knowing I had lots of creative, fun stuff to teach them. The nerves… well, although I am the mum of an ‘almost’ teen myself now; the thought of teaching a whole bunch of people this age was a little daunting, I must admit! However, I was well prepared, with lots of ideas to try and also copious amount of snacks to keep us all going!
When designing and writing this creative photography workshop, my main aim was simple – to make it exciting and capture their imagination. To tap into their love of fun and experimentation. And, most importantly, to encourage every single child to realise their own potential and introduce them to a creative outlet to express their individuality. In today’s teenage media-saturated world, there’s a huge pressure to fit in and be the same as everyone else. Creative photography gives a wide open opportunity to just follow YOUR heart in what you choose to photograph and how you choose to photograph it. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate your own uniqueness!
We began by talking about some common-sense rules with photo permissions, then we headed out into the sunshine. It was only just above freezing at the beginning, but this gave us opportunities to capture frost in all it’s natural beauty! The location of the Workshop was around Goldsworth Lake in Woking, Surrey – a really picturesque area that also has the contrast of a brightly coloured play area for fun and structural photography. We headed there first whilst it was empty and we chatted about how light affects our photos and different ways of playing with it to get creative effects. I wanted to keep the talking part to a minimum, so the whole workshop had bite-sized teaching, then immediate practise, whilst I went round to every person to coach and give feedback and encouragement.
After having lots of fun practising in the playpark, and also learning how to get the BEST photos of your friends (super-important at this age!) we went out around the lake edge itself. Even in the depths of winter, we found tons of interesting things to photograph – and realised that if you just use your eyes first – you will find always find something that draws you in. We also learnt how to give a photo a ‘wow-factor’ by trying a few different compositional tricks! We had a brilliant half-time group session where each person showed their favourite shot so far, before heading back out to learn more, including how sometimes simplicity is key and also how the brain and eye works together to find a photo interesting.
It was incredibly rewarding to see how quickly these young adults picked up what I was teaching and they were so open to experimentation! I loved watching them having so much fun with a camera and it was especially rewarding when they came up to me with a photo they were really excited about.
I was genuinely blown away with what everyone captured during the Workshop – so much so that I’ll be doing a separate blog post so that i can show off their work! Meanwhile, here’s some photos to give you a flavour of the morning.
PS If you have a child aged 10-14 years who loves snapping on their camera or who just loves being creative and would like to do something completely different and rewarding this Easter school holidays, I’m running another #pictureit Creative Photography Workshop on Wednesday 6th April in Woking, Surrey. Places are limited as I keep the groups small so I can give 1:1 attention. Click here to find out more and book your child’s space >