Crowdsourcing: What should 10 year-olds know about photography?

I am looking for a little help here. Next week I’ve signed up to talk to my daughter’s girl scout troop about photography, digital photography to be more precise. What should I talk about?

I sense I should keep it short and sweet.

Rule of thirds, composition, what shots work better in black and white, know what’s in the background, different angles…

20 girls. 10 minutes. What would you talk about before you let them loose to take their own photos?

I’m just a hobbyist, I don’t have a photo-vocabulary and am struggling to put my practices into words.  Any and all comments are appreciated.

Thank you,





8 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing: What should 10 year-olds know about photography?

  1. With 10 mins, I would skip the rule of thirds or the how to’s of composition- they will figure that out when they practice. I would go over basic camera functions like focus and shutter, and give them an assignment like “Take a picture of something that makes you smile”. I’d rather see them tell the stories of what they like at this point, than be able to compose like a pro. It should be about instilling fun and passion for it rather than overwhelming technical stuff. My two cents. 🙂

    1. I like that. Skip the boring stuff. Due to lack of cameras the girls will be using iPods, iPhones, maybe a camera, or two…point and clicks. Part of my thinking is to talk about how quickly you can create while taking photos. In the time it takes you to play Angry Birds you could take 50 photos, select 10 good ones and show your friends, family what you can do.

      1. Ah, yes that changes things somewhat with non-camera cameras. 😉 Maybe talk about framing- how you can frame different items several different ways. I taught 2 photo classes with World Vision in Zambia and Malawi to help the kids tell us their stories. One exercise we did was to have one child stand as an example and show how many different ways you can capture the same thing- up close, far away. up high, down low etc. Their own perspective can make their picture unique.

  2. I’m with Christy…I find when I pass over the SLR to someone to take a shot for me, they often pass back a macro depiction of what I envisioned. Shooting an image up close and personal is often debilitating to me when I see someone cower, as if I am stealing their soul. Girls of that age may not be the most secure with appearances and vulnerability. However, when I show them the remarkable beauty that I would have missed from afar, captured inflection of facial features, dewy flower petals, seeing teeth inside a cat yawn, etc…it becomes exciting!

  3. I think you’re on the right track, keep it short and sweet and stay away from the very technical aspects of photography. However, I think a quick lesson on rule-of-thirds is okay as it’s one of the more intuitive composition techniques to grasp. As mentioned in the other comments, encouraging them to have fun and tell their stories is a great way to go.

  4. Hey Luke, I’m not a photographer, but I am a teacher. Here are my recommendations:
    1. Have little handout (one sheet, simple) with your tips on it and maybe an example of each tip. Easy enough to find on the internet.
    2. Print some of your pictures (or share them on a tablet or some such) which demonstrate your tips.
    3. When you let them loose, give them an assignment, like, take three photos that demonstrate on of your tips. Or maybe a short photo scavenger hunt.
    It sounds like a fun endeavor. Good luck!

  5. Most of what has been said is perfect – but I would add that you could talk about digital iphone pictures outside of the ‘selfie.’

    The selfie is the preferred medium of kids and it’s a tad overdone.

    You could give them an assignment to view the world in a different way, or to tell a story with a picture -or a series of three pictures. Or you could talk about the ‘muse’ and get them to pick a subject and take 5-10 pictures.

    That way you can send them off to take 10 pictures of their subject matter – they can come back and edit the pictures as they choose. Bonus points for printing. You could also even do a “show” and have each girl print out a few of their pictures and mount them on a board and they others can walk around and see their work. They can talk to their subject matter and why they picked it?

    Maybe too elaborate, but I just thought it would be fun for them to have a follow up activity as well as show & tell. Good luck!

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