Arielle the Photographer
Arielle the Photographer
I snapped a photo of her as she snapped photos of her brother playing soccer. I’m sneaky like that. –Amber, iPhone 7

It seems like photography is huge right now, and my Arielle has been bitten by the Photography Bug. With several of her friends also interested in photography, it was bound to happen. But it’s not something she wants to do just because her friends are doing it–she really likes it and she really does have a good eye for photography.

So I did what any good homeschool mom would do and I decided we need to add “Beginning Photography” to her school classes. =)

One of the best perks of homeschooling is being able to include a child’s interests as part of their education–more so than you might be able to in a public school setting.

Standing on a Stump
At the park, standing on an old stump. Perspective, lights, shadows. — Arielle, Canon Rebel

As homeschoolers we can study things like “Beginning Photography” (which you very well may find in a high school setting,) or “Manga Drawing” (which you probably won’t,) according to the interests and career interest of each child.  If we can find the materials, we can learn it.

An Old Interest, New

Last week I mentioned in my 30 Things About Me post that I’ve had an interest in taking pictures since 6th grade, when someone gave me my first 35mm camera. Actually, that was my first and only 35mm camera, I took care of it and used it until it died–when my oldest child was a baby– and then we bought a digital camera.

(I laugh at those digital cameras now!! I think it was a TWO megapixel?! If even that. It may have been less.)

Texas Cow in field
Photo by Amber on iPhone 7. I saw this cow nursing her calf and I just had to take a picture. She was giving me THE EYE as I got closer and closer so I could get a good shot. –Amber, iPhone 7
Sunrise Behind the Clouds
Sun rising behind the clouds in Texas on a Sunday morning in springtime. — Amber, iPhone 7

At the time, back in 2000, I wanted to take a photography course through our local community college, to learn to develop the film and everything. At the same time, however, DSLR cameras were the new thing.. take professional quality photos but without developing the film. It sounded pretty cool, but as with most new technology, those initial DSLR cameras were pricey, $1000-$3000, so we enjoyed our much less expensive digital camera instead.

Over the years, we’ve upgraded our digital cameras as technology progressed, and I’ve taken countless thousands of pictures. I don’t only take pictures to document events and experiences but I also like to take pictures of pretty things and beautiful scenes. I enjoy both getting the artistic shot and capturing the moment.

Arielle at the soccer fields
Meanwhile, while her brother was playing soccer… –Amber, iPhone 7
We were trying to see who could take the best picture of her shoes. She won. 😉 — Arielle, “self portrait,” Canon Rebel

Of course, now my cell phone has even better quality than any digital camera I’ve owned to date. Isn’t it crazy how technology advances?? DSLR cameras have improved incredibly in pixel quality over the last 17 years as well. So for a while now, my phone has been my only camera.

And then… last December, our church purchased a Canon Rebel so that we can take better pictures and videos for events. And that was the camera that started it all! (And now we want our own.)

After we used it for Easter pictures this spring, I realized that we had a good camera but didn’t really know what to do with it. The long-dormant desire to learn “real” photography was awakened from its slumber–and it brought a friend!

Arielle and I both have been taking the camera out here and there to practice taking pictures, learn the different settings and functions of the camera and lenses and filters, and figure this thing out. For me, it has reignited an interest in a hobby. But for Arielle, it has ignited an interest for a career.

"Mouse" on a Rug. Taking pictures of pets is a good way to practice. --Arielle, Canon Rebel
“Mouse” on a Rug. Taking pictures of pets is a good way to practice. –Arielle, Canon Rebel
Silly puppy
He’s a silly puppy. –Arielle, Canon Rebel
Treat please
“I can haz??” I think Arielle must have been holding a treat! – Arielle, Canon Rebel

From Interest to Hobby

In May, Arielle was given permission to be a second photographer at our homeschool prom, taking portraits beforehand and photos throughout. She really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun with it. Several people–photographers and non-photographers alike–have complimented her eye for a good shot, her framing, and her instinct.

She’s still a novice to be sure, but she shows great potential and I really want to foster that!

Catie at prom
I love this picture Arielle took of her sister at prom. –Arielle, Canon Rebel
And this picture is too sweet. –Arielle, Canon Rebel (P.S. – I did her hair and I’m super proud!)

Later that May, Arielle came back from vacation with this beautiful photography book put out by National Geographic: Getting Your Shot: Stunning Photos, How-to Tips, and Endless Inspiration From the ProsI mean, this book is beautiful, y’all, just beautiful. Of course you’d expect nothing less from NG, but it still needs to be said.

The really cool part about this book is that it’s full of tips and tricks and divided into sections for “lessons.” The first lesson is all about capturing light, or using it to your advantage, or overcoming it when it’s a disadvantage. So for weeks we’ve been paying attention to lighting as we’ve taken our shots. 

Light through the trees.
Light through the trees. –Arielle, Canon Rebel
Light on the flowers
Light on the flowers. –Arielle, Canon Rebel

So here we are in the infancy of a hobby, novices on a journey, looking for resources and materials to  pull together for our “curriculum” as we learn photography together.

Arielle and I are going to continue working through this book, but my next step is to start looking at some of these Canon Online Photography Courses  while digging around on the Canon Digital Learning Center as well as the Canon Canada site, Outside of Auto. I’ve also found this list of free online photography resources. 

The Snail
And now we see photo opportunities all over the place! I couldn’t help but stop and seize the moment when I saw this snail at church one Sunday morning. –Amber, iPhone 7
Snail Close Up
I was really surprised to see how much detail was captured when I cropped this in closer. Imagine if I’d used a DSLR instead of my phone! –Amber, iPhone 7
Goodbye Snail
Goodbye, Snail! Have a great day! –Amber, iPhone 7

So what’s next? Arielle and I are going to keep taking pictures, and I’m going to keep sharing them. I hope you don’t mind pretty pictures. 😉 I’ll also share more resources as I find them.

Do you like to take pictures, too? Have any good resources? Drop a link in the comments–thanks!!

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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!