Practicing Photography


  • To practice taking photos
  • To creatively depict different attributes of a place


  • Digital cameras or phone cameras (1 per every other participant)
  • “Scavenger Hunt Worksheet” handouts (1 per participant)
  • Copies of photo releases
  • Projector
  • Picture of an object or landscape

Prepare Before

If you are doing this lesson plan on a school campus, you will need passes for students to be out in the school during class time with permission to use their phones.

Warm Up

Show a picture of an object or landscape with no people in the picture. What are the first words that come to mind? What feelings does this remind you of? What concepts or ideas? If this picture were a metaphor, what could it symbolize? What concept from science could this illustrate? What concept from history? Other things this picture might represent?

[For instance, a picture of a flower might be about growth, beauty, new life, the seasons, global warming, photosynthesis, the destruction of family farms, or plant-based healing.]


Today we are practicing taking photos and finding ways to take photos of particular ideas or concepts.

Everyone will be in pairs.  In your pair, you will have today’s session to take pictures of these concepts.   Be creative — you might not be able to take a literal picture of this concept, but you can take a picture that could symbolize it. You will have only today’s session to take pictures.  If you have time, you may take additional pictures for each word, so that you can choose the best picture.

Review the photo guidelines from the “Ethics and Photography” lesson plan.  Participants cannot stage or create a picture, nor can they interrupt a moment to take a picture.  If the people in it are identifiable, they need to get a photo release.  Pictures with people where the faces aren’t seen or are obscured do not need a photo release. Photos of people should show respect for those people.

Let participants know if there are any places that are out of bounds. If you are on a school campus, review what they should do if they are stopped in the hall or asked about using their phone.

Pair people off.  Everyone should have a camera, a “Scavenger Hunt Worksheet” handout, copies of photo releases, and a pass to be in the hallway (if needed).

By the end of the session, participants need to upload or send your photos and turn in your scavenger sheet.

Note: Later in this lesson, you will project the photos, ideally with all the photos for each word in a row.   If it is too hard to organize the photos by word, each person can show their photos.


Facilitate a discussion with the following reflection questions:

  • What was the hardest word to photograph?
  • What was the easiest?
  • Is there a photo you are particularly proud of?  Why?


This is an opportunity to see familiar surroundings in a new way and to see which parts of our community exemplify different concepts.


Look at the photos. Go through each word and show the photos for each word.   Photographers should explain why they chose that photo, how it shows that word, and where they took the picture.  For each word, discuss which photo best shows that word and which photo is the most creative one for that word. Bring out the different ways people showed that concept.  Did you pick common locations?  Are there parts of our school campus, organization, or neighborhood that are typically that word?


What did you learn from someone else’s photo that you would like to try in the future?