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Are the backgrounds sharp and in focus, or soft and blurry?Are the backgrounds darker than the subject, lighter or a combination that is both darker and lighter in certain areas? In other words, are their eyes drawn to the background instead of the subject?
On the opposite side of the coin, be sure to ask them what it is about the selfies they find lacking.
It would be extremely difficult to teach every concept of photography in every lesson.
Shooting a portrait of another student, a family member, friend or even the teacher should also be allowed.
The first part of any lesson is what I like to call “The Backstory”.
And I doubt if most teenagers, or adults for that matter, can retain all of that information all at one time.
So, for this lesson, let’s concentrate on backgrounds, the direction of the lighting and posing.Pick a volunteer and have them sit on a stool in the middle of the class.Have the class join you as you walk around the volunteer, keeping the light aimed at the student, but raising and lowering the light as you go.That’s why smart phones have two lenses, one on the front and one on the back.And it’s one of the big reasons why social networking sites like Facebook even exist.Right now we spend so much time teaching the science of exposure, focus and, yes, even composition, we forget the reason we picked up photography in the first place was to create art.Being a huge proponent of the “Learn by Doing” school of thought, I’ve come up with three captivating lessons you can use to teach a teenager, or even a whole classroom of teenagers, the ART of photography.The object of your “Backstory” is to instill the desire among your students to create their own innovative and memorable self-portraits.So make sure to ask your students what it is in each of the professional photos that makes them unique and powerful.It really doesn’t matter who you chose, as long as their photographs offer interesting lighting, great emotion and hopefully some creative compositions.Compare the works of your favorite artist to some random selfies.