10 ON 10 FEBRUARY

A couple of weekends ago, I got a bunch of friends together for ice skating at a favourite winter spot of mine, the Evergreen Brickworks. It was the perfect mix of old and new neighbours, old and new friends, and our kids were happy to be together. It was snowing a bit but still warmer than the incredible stretch of record-breaking cold temperatures we’ve been having throughout Ontario, (The Brickworks, has a adjacent cafe and open market area where you can escape the sudden onset of frozen toes and where buy exceptional hot chocolate and giant chocolate chip cookies.)

This month’s 10 on 10 makes me feel especially grateful for all the good people I know and call friends.

Getting together with these awesome Torontonians is my secret remedy for making it through one of the coldest winters I can remember since moving here 15 years ago.

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I missed last month’s 10 on 10 so I took the liberty of adding more than 10 in this month’s post. (I couldn’t leave anyone out!)

My 10 on 10 monthly project is part of global circle of family and child photographers. I hope you’ll stop by and visit photographer Kylie Dunlop’s 10 on 10 here!

February 11, 2014 - 7:04 pm

Brandy Anderson - I love how you were able to capture so many people looking so happy! This looks like a great place.

February 11, 2014 - 7:27 pm

Becky Leatherman Adams - Wat a fun activity : ). I especially love the happy smiles. The cookies look pretty yummy too!

February 11, 2014 - 8:12 pm

Robyn Russell - I love the processing on these Diana!! Such happy moments and cooperative boys!! :)

February 11, 2014 - 9:38 pm

Tam Lovebert - So many great expressions that it looks like a warm winters day

WHY I LOVE KIDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY

LTP_John Wanless_DSC7057In early 2012 I decided I wanted to teach photography to kids and began searching online for resources to help me get started.  At that point, I was merely looking for some tips on how to present the fundamentals of photography in a quick and accessible manner. However, that all changed when I  came upon a booked called, I Wanna Take Me a Picture, written by well-respected photography educator Dr. Wendy Ewald.

It was a fascinating read and made me aware of Ewald’s groundbreaking photography work with children around the world.  Her unique instructional approach introduced photography as a catalyst for self-expression, critical thinking, student-centered learning, and as a tool for addressing issues of identity, community and culture.

Her work, which has spanned over 40 years, led to the development of a educational program called, Literacy Through Photography (LTP).

Six months later I was sitting at a Literacy Through Photography workshop in the prestigious Center for Documentary Studies, at Duke University in North Carolina, led by sociologist and LTP director, Katie Hyde. I returned to Canada even more excited to pilot a LTP program of my own and got my feet wet by facilitating a couple of workshops at my boys’ alternative school in downtown Toronto, and at a junior public school in Burlington, ON. I also learned a tremendous amount as a guest mentor for a group of teen girls participating in a mentorship program run by female police officers. (Last year their photographs were featured in an exhibit at Toronto City Hall.)

Most kids have access to a camera or mobile device that can take pictures but how do they process what they see? How do they portray themselves?  How do they communicate in the language of images in a digitally-saturated society that produces over 60 billion images each month on Facebook alone?

The LTP program address this mainly by putting students at the centre of their leaning and by challenging them to question what they see.  They are encouraged to explore what it means to ‘read  images in ways that address issues of identity, culture, diversity, and intent. They are introduced to the core concepts of photography and writing prompting them to assert their own point of view in a society increasingly presented  in purely visual formats. Students of differing learning styles, skill levels, and motivation are equally engaged building community in the classroom.

The award-winning photojournalist Jason Eskenazi, who spearheaded a Kids With Cameras program with children living in Jerusalem, believes photography is innate and that visual literacy is something we are born with. And Edinburgh-based photography educator Matthew Sowerby, who encourages the integration of photography into learning, teaching and assessment in schools, believes “we are experiencing a seismic shift it what it means to be literate” and that “visual literacy workshops can engage and motivate students by involving them as active participants in their own learning.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

In the short time I’ve been piloting my LTP workshops, I’ve been given the opportunity to work with wonderful kids from different backgrounds, skill levels, and personalities. What strikes me the most is how each student is eager to express themselves through the art of photography. Equally compelling is the gift of vision each of them possess. Giving them the tools to more effectively decipher the images around them,  and to create images that acknowledge their own experiences is often the most empowering aspect LTP.  Students can perceive of themselves as artists with a voice just as worthy as anyone else.

Almost, a year and a half later, I’ve had the opportunity to offer my workshops in over 5 schools in the GTA, with interest in the program from parents, schools, and after school centres growing steadily.

If you’re a parent, teacher,  principal or youth outreach leader interested in bringing an LTP workshop to your school or centre, please get in touch with me here.

I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

Photo Workshop for Moms and Dads!

 FIRST WORKSHOP DATE FOR 2014: SATURDAY, MARCH 29!

 

smiling girl lying on her bed

I designed this workshop specifically with YOU in mind! You own a good digital camera but still fumble with all those buttons, dials, and settings. In this workshop, we’ll not only cover digital camera basics and how to use all those modes to your advantage, but I’ll also teach you how to unleash your creative side behind the lens, through 10 shooting tips that I use on all my photo sessions. You’ll leave this workshop inspired to take on your kids with your camera!

WHO THIS WORKSHOP IS FOR: 

Moms and Dads who want to learn how to take better photos of their kids. Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents welcome too!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

It’s highly recommended that you bring your DSL camera as we’ll covering the basics of digital photography in the first half of the workshop. If you don’t have one, you could consider borrowing one.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

How to switch from program mode to manual mode so you can take full advantage of your camera’s awesome features. This also includes how to properly set your ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and focus modes for ideal picture-taking of your kids. I’ll also share with you my 10 Essential Tips on How to Photograph Your Kid Like a Pro.

THE DETAILS: 

This 2.5 hour  intro workshop is designed mainly for moms and dads who want to capture stellar pictures of their kids with their DSLRs. Photo-editing, and/or any aspect of running a photography business will not be covered in this beginners’ workshop.

BONUS:  

A $50 gift card that can be applied towards a Family Photo Session you book with me ins 2014,  a Rock That Kid Shot! Tips Booklet, and an invitation to join a private Rock That Kid Shot! Facebook page where you can share images of your kids, receive feedback from me, and continue to learn.

 

TESTIMONIALS: 

“Thanks so much for helping me to actually take the time to understand what my camera can do. I finally captured some photos of my two little guys in action!”  Rebecca Earl

“I liked the workshop as it was simple and easy to understand. It rekindled my interest to start over again and this time I put what I learned to use!”Ranjeeta Dmello

“I loved the workshop and I’m so excited to start taking pictures in manual mode!”  Erin Limerick

 

Questions? Drop me a line here.

Register Here! 

 

 

 

 

 

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POETRY IN STILLS -JANUARY

This year I’m participating in a collective project called, Poetry in Stills where, alongside other photographers across the globe, I’ll explore the relationship between poetry and photography. The goal is to post one photo, on the third Sunday of every month, accompanied by a poem we write ourselves or a selected poem from any source we feel best reflects the essence of our image. There may not be anything novel in our project, but we’d love to grow our list of participating photographers so that we can share each other’s links and create enough reason for you come back and enjoy our monthly offering of photos inspired by poetry, poetry inspired by photography.

If you’re a professional or amateur photographer with a blog, please contact me if you’d like to join our project group.

But for now, enjoy my first Poetry in Still.

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Christmas, you are gone,
January is here and we are back to school,
sadly we toss you to the sidewalk,
where you will linger for a few days,
pine-scented memories of December.

Please visit these Poetry In Stills by:

Tamsin Lambert

Karen Mackie

Nikki Herdman

Robyn Russell

January 21, 2014 - 3:46 am

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SUSANNE’S PRIDE

This past August, I spent 4 amazing days in the company of an Susanne’s family in St. John’s, Newfoundland. They treated me so well in their lovely corner of the world…a place I’ve always wanted to visit ever since moving to Canada. Susanne is an old neighbour of mine and her eldest daughter was one of my first models before turning pro. She’s always been so supportive of my work and this year I couldn’t pass up of the offer to visit her. (Thanks, Susanne!) Besides loving every inch of St. John’s, I also enjoyed every minute in the company of Susanne and her girls. As a mom to two boys who don’t like being photographed, having 3 wonderful little muses to follow around was a little piece of heaven for me. And Brad, well he’s one of the best Dads I’ve ever photographed. He gets it.

I still have so many more images to edit from my trip…I hope you’ll stop by again!

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To book your family’s photo session, I’d love to hear from you here!