We have finally begun our “kids-with-cameras” project with the sons and daughters of “Las Estrellas de Santiago Zamora.” Our first day of teaching photography to the kids, although a bit hectic due to the rain, went extremely well. First practicing with digital cameras, our young photographers learned the basics of framing, lighting, and shooting. We then distributed the six dispasables and will be developing them this weekend! We can’t wait to show them thier pictures next week and continue the project into July.
From a development perspective perhaps it is difficult to see the relevance of the arts in development projects. If this experience workng with women artisans and thier families has taught me anything, it is that the arts are absolutely relevant and import in development. Projects that incorporate the arts are especially important in indigenous communities where there has been a severe lack of visibility in media and government. Instead of being under-represented, or “othered” by mainstream media sources, these projects pave the way for members of the community to self-represent and reduces the misrepresentation of culture and heritage. In place of the stereotypical depictions of indigenous communities that flood the mainstream media, images that accurateley and honestly depict the experiences of these communities emerge.
We work with kids because they have a fresh eye and a new perspective in thier communities and of the world. They also create more intimate and honest images of thier lives–as adults we tend to choose and manipulate our images so that others see the world the way we wish them to see it.
Introductions: Why we take pictures
FRAMING: Using paper frames show students how to take time arranging shots.
FREE SHOOT: Using digital cameras show kids how to focus and shoot (and that’s all!). Let them explore using the cameras.
PERSPECTIVE: Show examples of 1 subject shot 3 different ways. Ask the kids which one they like best and why.
ACTIVITY ONE: Have students shoot the following subjects from different distances and angles.
LIGHING: Talk about simple lightning conditions and when to take pictures.
CAMERAS: Distribute disposable cameras and explain how to use them (and the difference between these and the digitals)
Although most of the pictures were taken with the disposable cameras, here are a few of the pictures taken with our digitals: