With the advancement of digital photography, nearly anyone can learn to take better pictures and have more fun doing it, as many teens have discovered. Social media gives them a forum to visually share events in their lives with frequency and immediacy such as they’ve never been able to do before.
But what if your student wants to pursue photography with a more passionate purpose? The digital photography craze means that more young people than ever are interested in photography as a potential future career. So how do you, without a professional photographer in the family, guide them along in this elective pursuit, whether for fun or for laying groundwork toward a possible career or cottage industry? That’s what my husband and I have had to figure out as our now-graduating senior, standing on the threshold of possibility, steps into her post-high school future with her eye on turning her passion for photography into a business.
When our daughter Jessamyn got her first inexpensive point-and-shoot camera, she became the family picture-taker. Rarely was she without a camera in her hand, her purse, or sitting nearby. She developed her eye with lots of practice and pretty soon discovered she was especially gifted at portraiture and promotional photography.
While some photographers specialize in capturing scenery, animals, still life, or sporting events, others lean toward time-motion, portraiture, journalism, or promotional photography. Only time and experimentation will reveal a photographer’s niche, so allow room for discovery.
My husband’s and my own expertise was vastly limited, but we found that outside sources which aid study are available to the passionate photographer. During our search, we discovered local camera clubs and photography workshops ranging from beginner level to professional. In these venues, other photographers provide mentorship and instruction. Most often, costs are minimal. Sometimes they require a slight membership fee or workshop enrollment fee.
Check with your local technical and community colleges, 4-H groups, and even in your own homeschool group. Look for volunteer opportunities where photography might be needed.
Source: Crosswalk | Naomi Musch, Author