Student Portraits – Part 1
We are starting what I hope will be an amazing and thoughtful art project. The students will work on this project throughout the year and hang their final pieces in the Spring.
We will be doing portrait photography. For those of you who didn’t already know, my degree is in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design. So, photography, especially portrait photography, is very near and dear to my heart. Although it is not necessarily the most technically difficult, I personally believe it requires a more thoughtful approach than any other genre.
Each student will have a chance to be the photographer and the subject. Although the process will require cooperation, the photographer is in charge of creative choices. It’s his or her job to tell the story.
This project will be done in stages (see below), and the kids will work on it in their spare time throughout each week.
- Be assigned a subject.
- Think about the vocabulary words and decide how you want to photograph your subject. What type of portrait do you want to do (Formal, Informal/Documentary, Environmental)? What is the story that you want to tell? Look at the work of other portrait photographers to get inspiration. Meet with me to discuss your plan for the photo shoot.
- Shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot some more. Experiment.
- Edit your photos. This involves going through all the images you have shot and choosing the one that you want to use for your final print. Then using Photoshop, you will edit the photo to complete the “story you want to tell”.
- Print your image.
- Class critique. With the help of a local, professional photographer, we will discuss everyone’s image, using the vocabulary words.
- Enter portraits in the Foothills Arts Council Youth Art Expo and hang the final portraits for the spring open house.
Here one of our 3rd grade students is working on her portrait project. She came up with this concept, having her subject peek out through a whole in a wall of books, because he loves to read and has an enchanting personality. With minimal editing in Photoshop, she had her final image.
During our class critique in the spring, the students will be asked to discuss their images and their classmates’ images using the photography vocabulary terms that they are learning. I think it’s important that the students learn to discuss art and literature beyond just saying, “I like it” or “it’s good”. Why do they like it or think it’s good? Or why don’t they think a work of art is good?