Amy Cyphers and Kim Bear work together at Wild Child Photography, a venture that's focused on photography for families and kids. They recently started teaching kids classes-- Photography Adventures -- and one of these sessions focused on Lensbaby lenses and macro. The kids were full of wonder and surprised by each new discovery. To see through the eyes of a child, read Amy's blog post below about the class.
Kids and cameras are such an amazing combination. My business partner, Kim Bear, and I have been teaching camera classes for several years. These were offered mostly to moms like us who wanted to take better photos of their kids. As our kids got older, we began teaching kids classes, too. We call these Photography Adventures and we go over a quick lesson, (because of short attention spans) and use a scavenger hunt to put into practice everything we talk about. Typically we do our scavenger hunts on nearby nature trails. I usually hide a random object, like a metal pig or gnome, for them to find and photograph.
For our most recent class, we took a short walk to the Holton Green House which is just a few blocks from our studio. We talked about macro photography and demonstrated how to shoot close-ups of flowers.
We wanted to add something unique and special to this class, so we contacted Lensbaby to see if it would be possible to borrow a few lenses for the kids to try and, to our surprise, they said yes! We own a couple sets of Macro Converters as well as a set of Macro Filters so the kids could use them with the lenses. It was perfect.
We love teaching with Lensbaby lenses. These lenses aren’t known as easy lenses for beginners. In fact, they take some serious practice. They are the perfect teaching tool because kids get to focus manually and it helps them understand the way a lens works. We had a 6-year-old using one, and she got some of my favorite images.
Kids tend to photograph things quickly. Sometimes they take hundreds of photos at our classes, but with the Lensbaby lenses the students had to take their time. I know this is tough for some kids (and adults!) but it helps them to slow down and be more mindful about their composition and exposure. There were a couple moments of frustration, but they all powered through to get great images and learned to enjoy using the lenses.
Another reason we love teaching with the Lensbaby lenses is we let go of perfection and embrace the artistic side of photography. Kids generally don’t care about being technical, they just want to make something cool. It was fun to teach them and watch them in action.
Seeing through a kid's eyes is an incredible experience. With my own kids, we sit down in my office after they shoot and watch their pictures load into Lightroom. They usually gasp at the beautiful ones, and they learn a lot from the blurry images that don’t make the cut. I’m usually gasping and smiling too... they see things a little differently than you and I, and that’s what makes viewing their results so fun, interesting and hilarious.
A few of the moms emailed me pictures their kids took with the Lensbaby lenses. I was instantly in awe and loved that they got something different and amazing from the class. I hope we can do this class again in the future. It was my favorite Photography Adventure yet!
Visit Amy Cyphers' website to learn more.