Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shutterbug Camp

A few years ago I noticed that we had a lot of kids coming to camp with cameras - snapping away as though they were on an African safari seeing animals in their natural habitat for the first time.

I think it's human nature to want to have something to remember what we've experienced, and photography is a perfect medium for that. We humans rely quite a bit on our sight over our other senses - and photographs are visual documentation of our lives.

When I was looking for new things to do with camp I thought that having a camp combining animals and photography might be a good idea. In a past life I was a professional photographer, and so I have a unique skill to be able to pass on as a Humane Educator.

The first day of camp I showed a photography PowerPoint and talked about lighting, perspective, and composition with examples to show the kids. I talked about "rules" that photographers rely on -- such as the "rule of thirds", and then told the kids that rules are made to be broken. I encouraged them to try new things -- turn the flash off, use the flash outside, move around, take photos from all different angles. With digital photography we have an advantage that you can take as many photos as you want at no additional cost, and you can see what you've taken instantaneously.

The kids did an amazing job -- as you can see by the photos on this page.

Part of the camp was making a photo album through WinkFlash which will be mailed to them when the order is delivered. These types of books are readily available at any number of companies -- the photos are printed right onto paper and bound in a book. It will be a nice reminder of their time spent at HAWS Kids 'N Critters Day camp.

These are pages from several of the books the kids put together. They were able to choose different templates for each page, and even write captions to accompany the photographs.

During the week of Shutterbug Camp Dr. Patricia McConnell was kind enough to bring her dogs Will and Hope for a visit.

She talked about dog training, had the kids train Hope to do a few tricks, and allowed them to take photos of the dogs. Willie and Hope were movie stars for a day while the HAWS paparrazi snapped away.

A field trip to the Milwaukee County Zoo gave the kids plenty of photo-ops.

I also brought in some studio lighting and a backdrop so that the kids could get a little experience using professional lighting.

But overall the kids just did their own thing whenever we had animals out -- which was most of the day. And they really developed some phenomenal shutterbug skills!

1 comment:

Nancy P. said...

I thought the Art Camp was a great idea until I saw the Shutterbug Camp. I bet LOTS of kids will be signing up for these camps next year, just from word of mouth. Great idea!