Learning Photography by Teaching Photography

This summer I’ve got my first ever photography intern/student and having sworn I would never be a teacher (my husband teaches 14-18 year olds and frankly it’s put me off) I’ve been surprised at how informative the experience has been so far.  My intern came to me offering to assist with shoots in return for some basic teaching on operating the camera, setting up lighting and some mentoring on composition.  I’m pretty busy with portrait shoots over the summer so the extra pair of hands is very helpful, but I was initially unsure about how much I could really teach him and whether he’d be getting a fair deal.

I guess this is what made me really start thinking about how to structure his ‘course’.  Thinking about what elements of photography I would want to know about at his point on the learning curve and about what I think is important for photographers not just to know, but to think about.  Doing this has really made me consider what I feel makes good a good image, about how much of photography is about self-expression and communication rather than technical brilliance and how much I’ve grown over the last couple of years when I started worrying less about sharpness and the rule of thirds, and more about what I wanted my images to say about me and about my subjects.

So over the summer I’m going to blog about what we’ve been up to, hopefully I can share with you some of the projects he is working on as part of his internship and I’ll maybe get him to guest blog about his experience. I’ll certain share with you a week by week account of the lessons I’m teaching him and the challenges I’m setting him, and why I think they’re important.  I’m interested to hear from other photographers about what activities or lessons made a difference to their photography in the early days, and if you’ve any ideas for assignments do share them!

Image captured while teaching about white balance and metering modes

4 thoughts on “Learning Photography by Teaching Photography”

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