Empowering Youth Through Photography. Photo © Gretchen Park
Photo © Gretchen Park

Empowering Youth Through Photography

Guest blogger Constance Chu shares her thoughts on empowering her students through the art of photography.

Learning photography in an after-school workshop is not only fun, it can also be an empowering experience for kids. Often, when we think back to our childhoods, one thing that stands out is how powerful the experience of anxiety can be whether social, intellectual, or creative. As a young person, one learns the etiquette of social behavior and slowly gains intellectual and creative confidence through years of life experience often involving trial and error.

Despite these unavoidable growing pains, I’ve found that learning photography has the amazing ability to pull kids out of their shells and allow them to share their thoughts and ideas without fear of judgment. Getting to explore the art form of photography can also build confidence as they learn skills that are creatively and technically challenging. As an instructor for kids and teen workshops for the past 4 years, I have regularly witnessed these boosts in confidence and self-expression—watching kids flourish in my workshops.

Photo © Constance Chu

Building Confidence By Creating Beautiful Imagery

Learning manual operation of the camera for the first time can be a bit daunting. With guidance and support, however, most kids can successfully achieve impressive imagery they never imagined possible after only a day or two of instruction. Below are a few photographic techniques we teach at The Image Flow that create happy astonishment when students realize they’ve successfully accomplished their goals through focus and a bit of practice.

Photo © James Robison


This photographic technique involves shooting a moving object with a slow shutter speed and following the moving object with the camera so that the image created has a blurred background while the moving subject is sharp.

Photo © Justin Alley

Light Manipulation

Manipulation of light involves the careful use of tools such as reflectors, diffusers, or artificial lighting to create a desired effect on the subject.

Photo © Constance Chu

Photo © Vivian Frederick

Photo © Charlotte Dodson

Light Drawing

This method uses a moving light source to create an interesting composition while taking a long exposure photograph.

Photo © Ella Noblin

What experiences like this translate to is a joy for learning. Since not all subjects kids learn in school are considered fun, signing your kid up for an engaging kids photography class is sure to increase their interest in learning, a character trait that will assist your child throughout their life.

From our ever-popular Digital Photography for Kids workshop to our new offering, Street Photography for Kids, The Image Flow is always coming up with new ideas to capture our youth’s interests. Check them out!

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