So I recently set out to teach my 11 year old niece E how to “do” photography. Shes constantly stealing my moms camera phone or her moms camera phone and snapping literally hundreds of pictures on it. One afternoon at a garage sale we were having she took probably close to 100 pictures on my moms blackberry, and a lot of them were GOOD too. The kids really got an eye and loves, and I mean LOVES taking pictures of flowers, just ask my mom and her crackberry. Anyway in an effort to spend more time with the kids that are growing up too quickly and in the spirit of photography, I stole E away for an afternoon on Monday and we had a little photo day.
We started out at Starbucks (doesn’t everyone?) for a quick bite, a drink, and I went over the basics with her and showed her some photos out of my old photo textbooks. I showed her some of my personal favorites and explained why and showed her good examples of what a landscape looks like, portraits, etc. We went over composition which she understood pretty well having done art in school and I explained & showed to her some ideas and how to draw the eye in using shapes and repetition. We touched on how to hold a SLR camera properly, how serious it is if she scratches or breaks the lens or mirror, how to focus, snap, and wind the camera, really the basics. I tried my best to convert my technical speak into human language for her since shes only 11 and a child of the digital point-and-shoot age. In retrospect I realize I missed one of the hugest helping things with focusing– the little ring in the middle of the viewfinder that helps you focus- totally forgot to explain it, hence some if not all her shots were out of focus, also forgot to tell her you cant get TOO close to subjects without them becoming blurry. Oops, its a good thing I got a 4pack of film for cheap for her to practice with. After our little chat/lesson we set out for the Capitol park and rose garden.
She was really quiet pretty much during our whole time together so I really wasn’t sure how she was feeling about all this photography stuff. If anyone knows my niece they know that she is NEVER this quiet so I guess that’s a good thing? She was pretty timid until her first roll was finish and then she really started to get into it, changing her stance and perspective to get a good shot of something. Before you knew it we were out of time on my parking meter and it was time to head out. After the park we kind of wandered around my neighborhood and alleyways looking for stuff to shoot to finish off our rolls of film so we could go rush them over to 1hr photo and get them developed. We even ran into Liz, Glenn & Walter during our walk and when Liz asked E how she liked taking pictures she just kinda nodded- this kid was being TOO silent!! So weird! Anwyay.
While the rolls she shot were being developed she took off with her mom to meet up with friends so I stayed around to get the film once it was done- this is when I realized I failed to explain focusing better to her, oopsie. She had some really cool shots, and you can really tell she loveslovesloves flowers because they account for almost all her shots. I feel like this was a good introductory trip into dealing with a manual camera. I could tell she wasn’t used to not being able to see immedately what she shot, shes a prime candidate for a DSLR I think, maybe one day when I’m rich…chyea right, me rich?
Since everyone following my twitter & facebook have been so eager to see what she got I’ll be scanning in her best ones today and I’ll make sure to have that post up as soon as I can tonight. I’m excited to show the world her first film shots!