Program 4: Take A Look! Photography Basics for Teens

Time of program

2 to 3 sessions of 50 minutes each

Program Description

Photography is an integral part of recording vacation memories. A few tips will ensure that the pictures are properly lighted and have good composition. In this hands-on photography class, teens bring their own cameras and learn the basics of photography from an expert. The number of classes must be negotiated with your presenter.


Invite a photographer from local paper or camera store, or a photography enthusiast from the local camera club to teach a series of classes for teens. If you cannot locate a photographer in your area, read Take A Look Around: Photography Activities for Young People by Jim Varriale. It has lots of project ideas. Or, lead the teens in the fun and easy projects listed below.


Hold an exhibition of the instructor's work. If you are teaching the class, ask staff to bring examples of good photography and bad photography. Place two labels at the top of your display area, "Do this!" and "Don't do this!" Display the pictures in the proper column. Display posters and/or flyers to advertise your class.


Ask local grocery, hardware, or photography store to donate disposable cameras for teens to use during the program.

Books to Display

  • The Basic Book of Photography by Tom Grimm.
  • Careers for Shutterbugs and Other Candid Types by Cheryl McLean.
  • Digital Photography by Alex May.
  • Photography by Keith Wilson.

Books to Booktalk

  • Pictures, 1918 by Jeannette Ingold.


Popular Photography.

Hachette Filipacchi Magazine, 1633 Broadway, NY, NY 10019

Upcoming Web Site:

Popular Photography is the "world's largest imaging magazine" and contains both film and digital articles.

Web Sites

Fodor's How to Take Travel Pictures Like a Pro
Fodor's How to Take Travel Pictures Like a Pro web site offers the amateur photographer easy-to-follow guidelines from "getting ready" to "techniques."

Kodak: Taking Great Pictures
The Kodak people should know how to take great photos and their hints will help teens take impressive photos also. Three online tutorials help photographers with lighting, composition, and basic darkroom techniques.

Professional Resource

Take A Look Around: Photography Activities for Young People by Jim Varriale.


Texas Reading Club 2002 Programming Manual / Read Across Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011