Does your child have an interest in photography?
Now, for the first time ever, our 4-week photography camp is available for self-study, download and go!
Our BRAND NEW HS KIDS photography program is designed specifically FOR KIDS (ages 8+) who want to LEARN & understand the basics of photography, editing, storytelling and studio work.
Photography is so much more than just a creative hobby! It builds self-esteem, encourages mental health, teaches mindfulness, facilitates perspective taking and innovative thought, and gives children a new form of self-expression that builds a healthy sense of self-identity. It also helps children connect, with each other, with family, and with their community at large.
When kids learn the art of photography, they learn to see the world in a brand new way. A way that necessitates patience and hones their skills of observation and perception. Research suggests that the ability to delay gratification is one of the best predictors of future academic and life success. When a landscape photographer patiently waits for the light to illuminate the landscape from just the right angle, they are delaying their gratification. And when a wildlife photographer sits quietly while observing a mother bear interact with her cubs, waiting for just the perfect moment to click the shutter, they are delaying their gratification. Photography definitely requires patience! Perhaps even more important though, photography cultivates an appreciation for the process. Learning is about more than just the end result!
Learning the technical side of photography, such as manipulating camera settings, composing a frame, observing and including the light artistically, working out the most ideal angle, and getting the focus just right, sharpens problem-solving skills that can easily be applied to other academic subjects and areas of life.
Here are just a handful of the additional benefits of teaching kids photography:
- Encourages time outside – Louv was right. Nature deficit disorder is a real thing, and nature photography helps treat it!
- Strengthens communication skills, storytelling, and early literacy. This is especially the case when used in conjunction with written responses and thought-provoking inquisition by dedicated instructors.
- Promotes fine motor skills.
- Helps to manage stress, and even process trauma.
- Encourages creativity and divergent thinking. Both of which are necessary for the evolution of society.
With all these benefits in mind, here at Hello Storyteller we decided to create a course just for kids.
We believe that what children have to say is important and that giving children the tools with which to say it benefits everyone.
These courses were written and designed especially for children’s learning styles and comprehension levels.
We ran a pilot program with a group of 7 kids and here is what they (and their parents) had to say:
” I loved the photography course! I think it was really helpful when I take pictures. I would really recommend it for beginner photographers. It offers all different types of picture taking, nature, studio, etc. It was an amazing experience and I loved it.” – Josh, Age 10
“This course was just what my 11 year old needed! It was an incredibly informative, easy to follow course. It taught our daughter the building blocks of photography, all the while igniting her love for the camera. The instructors were able to bring their knowledge of a complicated art form to a level understandable to children of all ages. My daughter didn’t want this course to end! I have been enjoying watching her practice and grow each week and as she continues to shoot! We can’t thank the instructors enough.” Melissa, Parent of Student
“My son has expressed an interest in photography for a while, so it was fun watching him learn the tools and techniques to actually go out and shoot on his own. He’ll pick up the camera now on a whim and direct his siblings or crouch down real low to capture the details. It’s like witnessing my own little mini me in action.” Angie, Parent of Student
“This course was fun! I loved learning how to control my camera. I liked learning about taking nature pictures and studio.” Emma, Age 11
in this Virtual CAMP the kids will learn
Week 1- Photography Foundations with Melissa Ortendahl
Having an understanding of HOW a camera works and how to be in control of the settings to create an image is crucial to becoming a photographer. This week goes over all the fundamentals of photography with an in-depth overview of ISO, aperture, shutter speed, reading histograms, focal plane, and lighting.
The course section includes:
39 page e-book
7 in-depth instructional videos on each content area
- Reading a Histogram
- ISO & Outdoors
- ISO Indoors
- Focal Plane & Aperture
- Shutter Speed
2 Behind-the-scenes shooting videos
3 Light & Image Review Videos
- Backlight Image Overview
- Dappled Light/Harsh Light Image Overview
- Diffused Light/Open Shade Image Overview
Week 2 – Intro to Editing with Laura Froese
In this week of the course the students will get a basic walkthrough of Lightroom. While our first week focuses on getting the images correctly shot in-camera, understanding how to edit a photo to fix things like white balance or to create an artistic edit is important. They will walk out of this week with a strong foundational understanding of Lightroom.
This course section includes:
A 24-page e-book
6 videos on the following topics:
- Importing Images
- White Balance
- Crop & Transform
- Tone Curve, HSL, Detail Panel
- Exporting Images
- Mobile Walkthrough
Week 3 – Nature Photography & Storytelling with Jackleen Leed
This section focuses on getting kids outside in the thick of nature to work with the skills they have already acquired in this course at a deeper level. They’ll apply everything they have learned to a subject matter that kids typically love, nature! They’ll also pick up some more skills that will help them out in the field. We’ll explore depth of field and aperture in nature and flower photography, composition in landscape photography, and motion and shutter speed when photographing wildlife. We’ll also talk about the all important light and what characteristics of light create really successful nature images. Finally, we’ll cover storytelling and making the image say what we want it to say!
The course section includes:
25 page e-book
3 behind the scenes shooting videos on:
- perspective, and more!
Week 4 – Indoor Photography & Studio Work with Pamela Salai
In this final week of the course, the students will learn about the differences when taking pictures indoors versus outside and also how to create and set up their own indoor studio with materials they already have at their homes. Pamela will provide the students with a good foundational understanding of how to shoot indoors as well as an overview of studio photography.
This course includes:
28 page e-book
4 videos covering:
- Studio Tour
- How to set-up a studio
- How to edit for indoor/studio photography
- A camera (DSLR preferably with the ability to change camera settings)
- A computer or iPad that can run Lightroom
- Access to google classroom and a web camera for live meetings (during Live Runs only)
- Willingness to practice
Meet The Instructors
Hi! I’m Melissa Ortendahl. Professional wedding and family photographer, mom of three boys, VP/CFO for Hello Storyteller. I have a deep love for teaching and am so excited to be working with the HS Kids program!! Being able to watch my own children find their creative and artistic sparks has been such a joy and I am so ready to help the kids that participate in this workshop be able to recognize and find their sparks as well.
I am teaching the foundations of photography and am looking forward to helping your children be able to understand not just how to use their camera, but to be able to take creative control over it to make their visions come to life. A strong technical foundation is the key to being able to branch out and get creative and in the first week of this workshop they will be learning A LOT. I am truly thrilled to have the opportunity to work with your children and cannot wait to see what they create!
Laura Froese is a Canadian photographer living on the West Coast of British Columbia. She specializes in families and weddings, but also loves to capture newborns as well as documenting her own family. Photography started for her as a hobby in 2011 and became a part-time business by the end of 2013.
Two years later, she left her career as a software trainer to pursue her passion full-time. She and her videographer husband of 10+ years run a photo and video company, Paraphrase Productions. Additionally, she is a full-time boy mom of a 5-year old, a 4-year old, and a 3-year old.
Jackleen Leed is a Pacific Northwest photographer enjoying island life in the Salish Sea with her three children, her partner, a crazy GoldenDoodle, and her son’s pet corn snake. She specializes in soul-centered outdoor elopements on wild pieces of Earth, as well as soulful, nostalgic, and cozy storytelling photography for families wishing to reconnect with the Earth and with each other.
She is a former forest preschool teacher who heartedly believes that Reginald Horace Blythe was right when uttering the words “Mud is the most poetical thing in the world,” and loves to spend her time in the thick of nature, usually with bare feet. She also believes that children are big philosophers in little bodies and that we would all be better off walking through life like they do, with our eyes, ears, and heart open to it all. To that end, she wishes to share photography as a means to live more fully and intentionally in each moment and in nature.
Hello! I’m Pamela Salai. I absolutely adore capturing portraits during the ‘golden hour’ (or, magic hour! as I like to call it). My favorite images are created during that hour before sunset when the Earth is positively illuminated in beautiful light. When I am not outside you can find me in my light and airy studio where I love to tell a different kind of story. My signature look in the studio is at most times whimsical. However, also referred to lifestyle in a cute, playful way.
“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” — Walt Disney
I love this quotation because it encapsulates what I believe and apply to my sessions.
I have the honor of saying I have been internationally and nationally published and recognized over twenty times since 2015, beginning with a feature in Momazine, and recently as a campaign photographer for vintage inspired children’s clothing collection, Runaway Pony. My family is my everything. I am happily married to my husband of a decade, Dave. We have three delightful and fun-loving children (who I use as my muses from time to time): our son, Brody, and twin girls, Harlow and Gabriella.