By Rhiane Kirkby
Are you bored of Baa Baa Black Sheep, sick of soft play and finding it hard to be a constant source of baby-friendly fun? If so, Photography for Parents may be just what you’re looking for. As the name suggests, it’s a class specifically designed for mums and dads, with the added advantage that babies and young toddlers are welcome too. In fact, given it’s all about the art of children’s photography, the focus is quite literally on them!
In five weeks you’ll learn how to get the most out of your camera, how to make best use of light and, perhaps most important, how to capture movement. After all, how many babies do you know who will lie or sit perfectly still? The courses are taught across London by professional children’s photographers. There’s no pressure to keep your child quiet or still—quite the opposite in fact—they’re encouraged to express themselves and the class just goes on around them.
A recent graduate of the course, Bella, says it was difficult to concentrate at first, but that she got lots out of it, aside from being able to take better photos. “It made me realise I didn’t have to watch Aurelia’s every move as I had been doing before and it was so good to do something different, something for me, in my year away from work.” Another graduate, Rachel, agrees: “It felt great to achieve something and have pride in yourself, and what’s more you get to learn a skill that benefits you and your whole family.”
Roz wishes there were more courses like this for parents and found it a great way to meet new people. Her baby was just six months old when she did the course and her advice would be to wait until your child is able to sit and interact—“that way I think I’d have got more out of it,” she admits.
“So how technical is it?” I hear you ask. “And do you need a fancy camera?” The course is technical, but very accessible—with detailed and easy-to-understand notes provided after each session, so you can spend the lesson concentrating on what’s being said. And although it’s a great benefit to use your own camera, you can rent them for free for the duration of the course—a great way to try before you buy!
As a graduate myself I can highly recommend Photography for Parents. The teaching is well pitched and there’s plenty of help, patience and encouragement along the way. There wasn’t a hint of competitiveness amongst my group, and even though I was a complete novice at the start I noticed results almost instantaneously. Just a shame the same couldn’t be said for my son, who became an increasingly demanding model as the weeks went by!
Courses are running in September in Chiswick, East Dulwich and Queens Park. For more information on the courses and how to book, go to photographyforparents.co.uk.