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Photography is a wonderful way to express yourself and although someone who is new to it can become quite good by following their own creativity and inspirations, professional photographers know the value of good tuition and learning about the more technical side of the art form as well.
Teaching photography is a great way to pass on your knowledge, experience and technical expertise while earning a good income. Becoming a teacher is a fantastic lifestyle that allows you to stay connected to your passion for photography while having the added advantage of knowing that you are helping other people express their creativity and if they have the dedication, patience and drive to succeed, they can one day grow to be professionals in the field themselves.
Basics of Teaching Photography.
- When you take on a new student, or class of students, you will need to thoroughly cover the basics of photography. The fundamentals of the photographic method requires a solid understanding of Aperture, ISO speed, exposures and the shutter speed.
- Photography is the art of using light to capture the essence of the world around us and it is only when your students have learned to use the light, and ‘see’ through the camera’s eye, that they will be able to fully use the camera to express their inner vision.
- Teaching the basics of photography will give your students the chance to begin their journey into the amazing world of photography. Once you have developed a successful method of doing this you can reuse your techniques and lesson plans for all future students, modifying your lessons when you need to in order to suit the needs of the individuals that you are training.
- As you get better at teaching, which is an art form in itself, you will find that giving your lessons becomes easier and as it does you can focus more on inspiring your students and really bringing the very best out of them.
Photography Workshop Curriculum.
Setting up your own photography workshop is a great way to give back to the community, help others to enjoy photography and if you charge a fee, it can be a great side income to supplement your salary.
You can run photography workshops on a whole range of topics, including but not limited to, street photography, the basics of photography, urban and cityscape photography, landscape photography, minimalist photography, portraiture, commercial advertising and marketing photography.
Depending on what you are teaching you will have to design a specific curriculum for your chosen subject area that walks your students through the knowledge, techniques and methods in a logical, easy to remember way.
As an example of how you can design your own workshop curriculum we can use the Basics of Photography as a learning tool. You can run one workshop, or a series of workshops, depending on how much you want to cover in your course.
An Example of a Good All round Basics of Photography Workshop Curriculum that could be taught over several days.
Part 1 : Learning to see like a photographer. Introduction to leading lines, compositional techniques and use of space (negative and positive). Inspiration from famous photographers and what we can learn from them.
Part 2 : The Camera’s Settings – how to use them to get the best results.
Part 3 : Camera Filters, Lenses and more.
Part 4 : How to Organize the colors in your compositions and introduction to color theory.
Part 5 : Composition – how to compose your photos like a pro.
Part 6 : Light. How to make the best use of light in your photography.
Part 7 : Black and White Photography.
Part 8 : Portrait Photography.
Part 9 : Landscape Photography.
Part 10 : Abstract and Minimalist Photography.
Part 11 : Post Production techniques and using effects.
Part 12 : How to Create a Great Portfolio.
Best Way to Teach Photography.
When we think of learning photography, we think of either learning photography online, attending a class or learning by downloading relevant material. But I think one of the best ways to teach photography is to do a photo walk. You and your students can meet in a local park. If you are in Philadelphia you can meet in places like Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square or Schuylkill River Park and then walk around the neighborhood and take photographs. You will be able to look at the photos of your students immediately and offer tips. Before meeting, you can maybe have a few online classes to go over the basics of photography.
How to teach photography to kids.
When you are teaching children about photography you will have to use slightly different methods while still conveying the same basic information. More hands on classes that involve taking lots of pictures to try out new techniques might be a good idea, as would be focusing on fewer topics per session.
You will also need to simplify your language and avoid using over complicated phrases and wordings to describe the things you are teaching.
That said, kids have a natural aptitude for learning and can often pick up new concepts and techniques faster than adults! Children are often highly creative and see the world through a very unique lens.
When teaching kids about photography, here are some helpful guidelines to remember:
- Keep things simple! Don’t over complicate your lessons and make sure that it’s fun!
- Teach the basics about how to use the focus, aperture and shutter speeds. The kids don’t necessarily need to understand the physics of what you’re teaching them and they’ll likely pick up the techniques very fast.
- As a general rule, try to keep your classes between 20-30% theory and 70-80% practical learning.
- Repeat things that you have taught in different lessons, approaching the same concept from different angles This will help the kids to learn about these things in a way that suits them best.
- Always be very encouraging to keep your kids motivated. Remember there usually isn’t a right answer and so allowing the kids to feel involved with the lessons is more important than them being ‘right’ every time! Bear in mind we learn from our mistakes but with kids you need to be very supportive so they don’t feel down or depressed if they do make a mistake.
- You can use things like competitions to motivate your class and give out fun prizes.
How to teach photography online.
Teaching photography online is a wonderful way to begin or supercharge your current teaching career. It opens up a whole new world of students and lets your work from home.
To teach photography online you can sign up with established companies and schools that specialize in this. This will be helpful for you because in most cases the company will find the students for you and arrange the sign ups, hours and the topics of the classes that you will be teaching.
What will you need to Teach Photography online?
- A good working laptop or desktop computer with a selection of post production software.
- A Webcam and a good microphone.
- A fast and reliable internet connection.
- Instant chatting software, such as Skype or Google Hangouts.
You can create your own photography courses and teach on a freelance basis. This will give you more freedom in terms of the hours that you will work and how often you want to do so, but you will need to find your own students and set up all the aspects of the classes to provide high quality lessons that are great value for money.
Teaching your students via a webcam from home is a powerful way to reach people all over the world but you don’t have to go it alone if you don’t want to. There are a wide range of platforms that you can use to host your course as well as help you to organize and create your lesson plans.
- With nearly 300 million enrollments to date, Udemy is one of the world’s most popular tuition platforms that allows you to create your own courses and begin teaching students from all over the planet. Udemy operates in over 190 countries, including the USA, and because you get paid in relation to how many students you have you can earn a significant income on the site.
- TalentLMS is an alternative platform where you can set up your own course and with an intuitive, user friendly interface you can easily create a course from your own materials or build one from scratch. Talent LMS provides a good platform if you want to get started teaching photography online.
Getting teaching photography assignments.
When you are starting out teaching photography there are a few things you can do to put yourself in the best position to be a great tutor.
- Watch some other photography tuition videos to get an idea of what you like and don’t like. Picking up tips and tricks from other tutors will give you some great ideas for your own teaching practice.
- Obviously you should be familiar with your camera and create a course that is logical, helpful and meets the needs of your students.
- Your course should be highly marketable so that you can attract the students you need to make a good living. Do some research into what the most popular areas of photography are to take classes in and find out ways that you can not only provide courses in these areas but also bring your unique skills and talents to the classes to make you stand out from the other available options.
- It’s extremely important to expand your network of contacts because the best type of recommendation is by word of mouth.
- Make use of social proof in your advertising strategy. Good reviews from former students goes a long way to helping you find new students in the future.
Teaching Photography is a Fantastic Career Choice that will allow you to share your passion.
Giving the gift of knowledge while sharing your passion is the dream of many, and if you have the technical knowledge and skills to pass on photography to aspiring photographers you’ll have a deep sense of satisfaction with your work while making a very respectable income.
Teaching photography has never been easier with so many platforms and different ways that you can go about it; so whether you want to teach in person, in workshops or over a webcam to classes or individuals online, then you can find the opportunities you are looking for.
Have you tried teaching photography?