When I taught photography, I realized we couldn't afford to take many
pictures, but somehow they needed to be exposed (!) to photograpjic
concerns. One year I tried using the disposable cameras, but the
picture quality is not very good, and it's still expensive.
This year about fifty 8th graders used a single automatic camera. First
it was passed around during 1 class period and everyone took 1 photo &
recorded the number so we could track down the photgraphers later. Two
days later we had the photos back and they were able to see and learn
from them. Next they signed up for time slots in the next 3 weeks
(mostly during homeroom, art class, and lunch) during which I actually
gave them the camera for 15 minutes and they took 4 more pictures. They
were all taken around the school, mostly candid shots of their friends.
Of course, the camera does all the lighting and focusing, so they turned
out fine. And when the last student handed me back the camera, I
We also spent 2 days looking at existing photos: one day they went
through National Geographics, identifying good photos and describing (in
writing) what made them so; on another day they looked at old yearbook
photos, identifying their strengths and weaknesses and suggesting ways
to improve them.
Overall, I think they picked up some practical knowledge without
terrible expense, just risks to the camera.
St. Sebastian School