Sunday, May 5, 2019

Shadow Day

Photo Credit: Zeeland Christian Schools

A friend recently asked me if I would be willing to let her daughter "shadow" me for a day, part of a school project for 8th grade students. Samantha is interested in photography. Without a moment's hesitation I said, "Yes".

Photo Credit: Samantha Meyer

Last Thursday, May 2 was our "Shadow" morning. I had texted Sam's mom earlier in the week to find out what she enjoyed photographing. Being a good mom, Rebecca sent me a folder of Sam's photos.
Flowers, low to the ground shots, shooting into the sun for sun flares. Sam and I would get along just fine.

Photo Credit: Samantha Meyer

It has been a rainy, cold, crappy week here in Michigan, and Thursday's forecast called for a 60% chance of rain. I prayed real hard the night before. My initial plan was to shoot in our downtown. Our town is host to the Tulip Time Festival every May, it is starting this weekend. All the tulips to photograph, along with food vendors, bleachers, and carnival rides. A photographer's delight. I did make an alternative plan if my prayer didn't work. Greenhouses were our next best option.

We made it half way through the morning before the slightly annoying mist became very annoying rain. We stopped at one greenhouse. The rain gave us enough time to go to a coffee shop and load her photos onto her computer and play a tiny bit with editing.

Photo Credit: Samantha Meyer

Even though my role was teach Sam about what I do and photography, I think in the end she taught me much more.

What Sam taught me:

  • To fall in love with what I do once more
  • To look up
  • To be brave
  • To love being a teacher/mentor
  • To continue my own photography projects/series
  • To find the words again
  • To get out and wander without the dog once in a while
  • To see life through the fresh, unjaded eyes of youth
What I taught Sam:
  • Composition and the rule of thirds
  • How to hold and lock focus on her phone
  • Snapseed editing app for her phone
  • The art of wandering
  • Coffee shops are a great place to hang out
  • Build a body of work - shoot a series and keep building it. 
  • Don't be afraid to put your photos out there
  • Look at other's photos to learn more about your own
  • Good rain gear will always serve you well :)
She deduced herself that this was much more fun than school :)

Photo Credit: Samantha Meyer

Thursday night lying in bed, I was thankful for at least a couple hours of minimal rain. Also, for the revelation that I much prefer walking alongside someone on their creative journey then standing in front of them. 

Have a great week!



Andy said...

That was a awesome photo project. Now I am wishing that someone would ask to shadow me for a day.

Karen Lakis said...

I’m thinking Samantha shows a lot of promise as a photographer- and what a great experience for you, too! I think I would like wandering around with another photographer- I’ve never done that. I suspect I’d learn lots and get some much needed inspiration. Things have been a bit hectic on my end - very little art in my life, sigh.... im hoping to change that very soon.

So glad you’re back!!!!!

Cathy H. said...

Samantha is an excellent photographer already! I love her unique point of view. I know she appreciates the knowlege you shared.

Electric | Journal said...

What a great experience, and a reminder that no matter our age, there is always something new to be learned from others. I'm sure she enjoyed learning some of your beautiful editing techniques.

Lorraine said...

Great lessons on both sides. Great photos too.

Lynne said...

I think it was a great “Shadow Time” for each of you!
Hold and lock focus on my phone? Hey teach?

Rachel Weishaar said...

I adore the lists of what you each learned. Inspiring!

Carola Bartz said...

How wonderful for both you and Samantha. This kind of shadow days is a great opportunity for kids - I remember how excited my daughter came back from her shadow day. I can understand that you enjoyed the role as a teacher/mentor because it gives back so much and can be very fulfilling.