Peter Bredholt of Olaf’s Photography created the curriculum for the Saint Anselm Catholic Academy Digital Photography Club “class”. The club met every Tuesday with Mr. Bredholt after school from 3 to 4:30 pm, November 18th through the middle of January 2015. Lessons were geared for students with an interest in learning the art of digital photography and how to use a camera. Class was limited to 10 students at a time. The club’s first session at St. Anselm ran for 8 weeks. Students were introduced to the work of the classics of the art of photography such as Ansell Adams, and each week the students learned quotes about photography.
While it was suggested and recommended that participants have access to their own DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera, this did not stop a student from participating, as Peter allowed students to use his cameras in class and St. Anselm Catholic Academy purchased one to be used as well. Participants received folders from Peter containing handouts to take home, supporting each week’s lesson, so that parents could see what their child learned and hopefully become interested in photography as well.
Participants gained hands on experience in using a DSLR camera. They learned to take “GREAT SHOTS! NOT JUST SNAP SHOTS”, with their iPhone camera or point and shoot camera. The students took photographs in school and on location. Club members learned portraiture, posing subjects, lighting techniques, flash photography, and how to shoot in a photo journalistic style, which complimented their work on the school newspaper. Each week students had the opportunity to practice what they learned that day by actually taking photographs. They were also given an assignment to complete at home to reinforce what they learned.
Club members critiqued their photos, from the previous session, as a class. By doing this, the students learned how to give and receive constructive criticism and a new vocabulary to help express their point of view.
In addition to the 8 weeks of photography club meetings, Peter and some members of the club volunteered at the St. Anselm Winter Wonderland this past December. There they set up a mobile photo studio. The students learned how to shoot on location and photograph a special event. Peter supplied professional lighting equipment and cameras, giving those students who volunteered the opportunity to get hands on experience in what it is like to be a professional photographer “on the job”. Over 250 portraits of children and families who attended the Winter Wonderland were taken. Students not only took portraits, but also printed them out using the printer and equipment Peter uses on regular location shoots. During the crush of people waiting to have their photograph taken with Santa and waiting for their complimentary print a student came up to Mr. Bredholt and said, ”This is really hard work but I am learning so much, thanks.” Mr. Bredholt’s day was made when he received what every teacher hopes for, something worth more than money, a thank you from one of his students and being told that he was making a difference in his life.
The response by students was very positive and enthusiastic. “The club” hopes to resume after Easter at which time instruction will pick up where it left off.
Peter can’t wait for the Digital Photography Club to resume.
The Photo Album of Academy Student Work
“Christmas 2014 in St. Anselm Church”
The 8 weeks of photography classes concluded with Mr. Bredholt taking the students into the church on January 13th and giving them the assignment – to document the church. Each student had a camera to use and was told to tell the story of St. Anselm Church at Christmastime.
While the students were in the church photographing, they learned about the Biblical figures and Saints represented by the statues, stained glass windows, and artwork throughout the church (St. Anselm, St. John the Baptist, etc.). They did a great job and we can be very proud of what they produced – a beautiful and exciting photo set.
A Word of Thanks
We are grateful to Mr. Bredholt for sharing his expertise and love of photography with the Digital Photography Club members of Saint Anselm Catholic Academy and to the students for sharing their talent and enthusiasm with St. Anselm’s Parishioners, permitting us to enjoy their photos. We hope to see more wonderful photographic work after Easter.
All the Best,
The Saint Anselm Publicity Committee