One of the best ways to learn is to teach, and I had the opportunity to do so this weekend!
Every 2 years the regional 4-H council hosts an action packed day of learning and fun for the local 4-H families and their friends. This year I was in the area when this event was taking place, and available to give back to an organization I hold dear to my heart. So on Mar. 5, I taught my very first class on digital photography basics - a quick and dirty photography 101!
Over the last 5 years, as I've crafted this business, I've given tips and pointers to family and friends, in a casual manner. However, I had not yet had the opportunity to do any hands on teaching sessions. One would think that after years of taking any chance possible to learn from other skilled professionals, I would have taken that leap of faith to try my hand at teaching, but I hadn't. Well, not until this weekend!
It was an exciting and jam packed "short session" covering topics such as the "Exposure Triangle", the Rule of Thirds or how to use the power of storytelling in your images. (Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.) This group of eager photographers were of all ages and skill levels, so it was the perfect environment to not only practice the skills I've learned through trial and error, but also the skills I've picked up from working with other professionals. The session was split into two parts - the first half being a theory or lecture styled lesson, and the second half being a group brainstorming activity where the participants discussed and critiqued some of my images.
The brainstorming group activity was personally my favourite. It was a great opportunity to watch the group work with each other to decide what they liked about the images they were viewing, what they didn't like and would have changed if they were the ones taking the image and how to apply all the tips and tricks we'd discussed earlier.
People often feel uncomfortable when their images are being put on display to be critiqued, but I know I walked away from that session with some fresh perspective on ways to improve my own work, in addition to the positive feedback that was also given. It was truly an excellent way to learn more about my photography style and how it's perceived by my audience.
I even had some take away "homework" to try out before the next time I teach a session! Some cool ideas and products were brought to my attention that I plan to try out right away.
If you were one of the attendees at the 4-H session this weekend, comment below with some of your favourite parts, as I'd love to connect with you!
"A camera is a tool to teach you how to see without a camera."