01 Mar 8 Spring Break Photo Projects
Spring break is coming!
Here you’ll find 8 ideas to pass the days of spring break with creativity and picture taking. There are so many benefits for kids, tweens and teens being involved with this art form. Not only does it encourage self-expression, it moves their minds and bodies as they discover light, new angles and ways to tell a story. It reveals unique perspectives and ways of seeing and also strengthens their decision-making skills as they work through their images both technically and compositionally. You’ll also find photos can be a starting point for quality family conversation which is a benefit for everyone.
So go grab the cameras, open your minds and get ready for some spring fun!
1. The “One Theme” Project
This is all about choosing a single theme to photograph. With spring arriving, choose a simple theme connected to this new, fresh season. Something like flowers, rubber boots or reflections. Growth, fields or kite-flying. Or choose something more representative such as a shape or a colour or a concept like ‘new’. The key is to see this same subject from different perspectives. Move around and get different angles. Try shooting at different times of day. Move in close for a detailed shot but then move back for one that shows scale and environment. Once you have your collection at the end of spring break, show them off! Make a set of magnets or a set greeting cards to give to friends and family. Put together a beautiful wall display in your home using simple frames where you can see and be proud of your work every day! This series of photos were taken of Danish kids in the city of Copenhagen.
2. The Family Project
Families spend lots of time together throughout spring break. It’s the perfect time to take meaningful photos of them as you take a holiday together or relax at home. For this challenge, go beyond a simple close-up portrait and capture what is important to them within the photographs. First, choose an environment that means something to them. Take photos of your family around the kitchen table, on the couch or sitting on the front steps. Get them to do an activity they love and be there to capture it. Building sandcastles or trying surfing for the first time. Your grandpa by his tractor. Mom tying her shoelaces getting ready for a spring run. Your siblings planting the backyard garden. Your parents walking on the beach. These types of pictures can really tell the stories of who the members of your family are and will be treasured for generations to come. Here’s a pic of my son’s sister and Grandpa at Grandpa Jim’s ranch where he lives.
3. The Story Project
Take pictures to illustrate a scene or two from a favourite story. Whether it’s a classic fairytale, holes of Camp Green Lake, magic spells, or bringing Greg Heffley from cartoon to real life, there is a lot of imagination and fun to be had with re-creating a story in pictures. You can make it as elaborate as you like with costumes and props. Scout out a location that will work perfectly for your scene. Bring your friends in to play the characters and have a load of fun! This is a project I need to put on my own spring break list as I don’t have a photo to share!! I’m thinking Red Riding Hood with her bright colours going through a nearby woods that I love… skipping on the path with her basket.
4. The Social Issue Project
What is something you believe strongly in? Is it keeping the neighbourhood or beach clean? Starting a children’s market in the neighbourhood? Raising awareness for a charity? Stomping out bullying? Helping animals in the SPCA? Photography can be a perfect voice to state your beliefs and values. It might mean asking for permission to take photographs at a certain location so ask your parents to help if you need. You can even weave your pictures with your words to make a true photo documentary. And then share and get your thoughts heard! Send it in to your local newspaper or neighbourhood newsletter and see if you can spread the word about what you’re passionate about!
5. The Art Gallery Project
Grab the family and go visit an art gallery. Inspiration from other artists is invaluable in exploring one’s own creativity and you can learn so much by studying other artists using different art mediums. When you observe others’ work, pay attention to what you are drawn to…is it colour? Leading lines? Texture? Emotion? Mood? The next step is to see how you may be able to incorporate what you like into your own photographs. After visiting the gallery, keep these ideas fresh in your mind and go create your own art in your style but bringing in these new nuggets of inspiration! This is another one I don’t have pictures of to share. I have visited plenty of art galleries, but didn’t have my camera with me. I’m definitely going to make it a priority to visit a gallery and keep this project in mind. Stay tuned as something is brewing in my mind!
6. The About Me Project
This is a great project for any age. Use these categories as a guideline for pages in your journal. And of course add any other pictures that you feel are important to you. Get it printed at one of the many album printing companies to have it as a keepsake. My family. My interests. My favourite colour. My favourite things. My friends. My favourite food. My room. My neighbourhood. My favourite place. Repeat it up next spring break to see how you’ve changed! Comparing the two years will provide lots of opportunity for conversation and memories. Here is a favourite place of my daughter’s. It’s in New Zealand but she still talks about it today as being her favourite place from the year.
7. The Teaching Project
Images (and video) are an ideal way to show others how to do something you love to do. How to plant your garden. How to bake your favourite cupcakes. How to do a science experiment. How to build a bunny hutch. Take the time to plan out the process you’d like to teach others. Determine when it’s necessary to include an image and then go out and take the necessary photos to show your process clearly. You could even use it for an unfinished school project. Here is an image from Hailey’s “How to Make Mini Pavlovas” that she taught her classmates this year.
8. The “How I See It” Challenge
At times it’s hard to get inspired on your own. Sometimes it’s good to have others give you a topic and then you go out and put your spin on it through a photograph. You can write down topics on pieces of paper, through them in a jar and pull when out when you need an idea. You can also join the “How I See It” challenge at Kids Photography Academy. There are a number of young photographers from different places in the world who receive a challenge via email from KPA every Monday. They have a week to take some shots and, if they like, send back in. It’s a great way to keep inspired and grow a collection of photographs that represent you. Sign up here to join the fun.