Take Photographs With Purpose

Striving for Best Practice – Tip Four

This is the fourth in the EarlyWorks’ Striving for Best Practice blog series.

Tip Number Four – Take photographs with purpose

One of the things that families seem to love most about the observations we share, are the photos that we include to evidence learning.  In fact, I am sure many families would be happy just to receive photos! 

Given this pressure we might feel to produce Instagram worthy photos for families, maybe it’s worth spending some time reflecting on why we’re taking photos (EYLF Principle 5 Ongoing Learning and Reflective Practice). Is it to capture the perfect shot that families can share on Instragram? Hmmmm… Or is it to capture precious moments of learning that can’t be adequately described using words?

Here are some tips for ensuring our photos do achieve our purpose of telling the important stories of children’s learning.

  • Photograph the learning. If we are focusing on a child learning to hop on one leg, we need to zoom in on the legs and capture that hop.

  • Have the courage to include blurred photos that show what a child did (crawling, standing, sitting up, running, riding, jumping, catching…) Remember learning is all about doing, and doing involves movement and this might be blurry!

  • Use photos to document emotions: satisfaction, excitement, delight, concentration, happiness…

  • Take photos that share what children have learnt. If the children have been watching the veggie patch grow and change, take photos that show the growth from seedlings to flowering plants, to fruit bearing shrubs, to tomatoes on the children’s plates. This allows families to see what the children have seen, and better understand what the children have learnt.

  • Hand the camera over to the child. A wonderful way to better understand the perspective of the child and see what they see.

So, we can share the purpose of every photo with families, EarlyWorks allows educators to include captions. Then all photos from observations, journals and comments are collected in the child’s image gallery which becomes a treasured record of every child’s learning. 

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