Job shadow fun for them, me

Last week I had the opportunity to have four students from a local school job shadow me and learn more about photography. That was definitely a fun day for me.

I had four girls come in and sit next to me at the desk to learn a little about Photoshop, and after that we went outside to have a little fun with the cameras. I always learn better by doing rather than by being lectured or reading notes on a chalkboard in front of a class, so I thought that taking the girls out and showing them how to use the cameras they had in their hands would be a great way for them to learn; and I think they did.

It was amazing and refreshing to see how excited they were about getting out in an environment and taking pictures of each other and the surroundings in a two-block radius of The Mining Journal. I showed them how to change the shutter, aperture and ISO on each of the cameras they had. Then I showed them what each one did.

I had them adjust the shutter to a really high number and then to a really low number and did the same with each setting. By the end of our three hours together they were really getting the hang of it. I asked each of them what types of things they liked to photograph, and with no surprise they all said either nature – such as birds, flowers and landscapes – or their friends.

After taking one loop around the block we came back into the office to take a look the photographs each of them had taken. And they were good. Obviously the first couple of shots were either too bright or too dark or too blurry, so I went through each one and told them what the setting of the camera was and how to change it to get the perfect shot.

As I was explaining all of this to them they looked liked they just wanted to know as much as they could and after a while in the office all they wanted to do was head back out with the cameras again. I remember when I took my first photography classes when I was in high school and was dual enrolled at the community college near me. Seeing how excited they were about learning this craft made me remember how excited I was to do so, too.

The first photography class I took was a basic photography class. That class pretty much taught me what I was teaching the girls last week. It was a lecture class that was for maybe three hours once a week. But we also had to take what we learned in the class that week and apply it in a photo shoot for the following week.

Now some of you might not believe it, but I started out on film and the second photography class I took my senior year of high school was black and white photography. That’s where I learned how to work in a darkroom. Now my senior year I was also dual enrolled in calculus as well, but instead of it being out at the community college like my photography classes it was taught by my math teacher at the high school before classes started in the morning.

Because creating projects in a darkroom can take quite some time, I have to admit, there were days I would go to my calculus class at the high school and then leave and go out to the darkroom and spend my entire day there. Those days were probably my favorite, even though the darkroom was about the size of a big walk-in closet.