4-H Photography Project Ideas

Photography projects can teach many life skills.

The goals of a 4-H photography project are to increase knowledge of how to use a camera and related equipment, understand the value of good photos and to be creative, solve problems and have patience while practicing a skill, according to the National Standards for Arts Education. Participants should work with their parents and leaders to make a project plan for their photography project. 4-H Photography can help young people enjoy photography as a hobby and possibly as a future profession.

1 Take Family Photos

4-H students can start their photography project close to home by using their family members as subjects. They can practice the skills of capturing various moods and expression when taking portraits. Photos of individual family members as well as group photos can be taken based on a theme, such as generations, religious practices, family hobbies or family traditions. The student photographer can experiment with taking formal, staged photos versus informal, natural photos.

2 Organize Family Photos

Some goals of the 4-H photography curriculum are to appreciate photography as an art, a communication tool and also as a way to record events and situations. Organizing family photos into artistic scrapbooks or photo displays can meet these goals. Students can make a record of their family history that will be cherished by their family for years to come.

3 Photograph Historical Sites

Historical sites in the local community can be an excellent source to practice artistic and technical photography. Historical buildings and sites often have interesting architecture and unique features that will provide rich material for photos. Students can practice using different lighting and angels to enhance their photos.

4 Photograph Nature

The beauty of nature makes a compelling subject for a photography project. Students can practice taking photos from different perspectives, such as a bird's eye view or zoomed in up-close. Nature often provides good opportunities to take sequences of photos, such as an animal running, a bird taking flight or even the clouds drifting by overhead. Themes for a photo journal on nature are nearly endless and could include the weather, the seasons, plants, animals, water and growth.

5 Food Photography

Preparing, styling and photographing food can make a comprehensive 4-H project. Students can practice many of the skills related to professional photography by making food their subject. This project would entail many steps, including planning a menu, shopping for food, preparing and cooking the food, setting up the photo shoot and taking quality photos. Food photography is a growing profession so students could gain skills that may help them work toward their career goals.

6 Create Web Page

The 4-H Digital Photography Project offers young people a chance to learn about digital photography and display their photos online. 4-H provides online tools for organizing and sharing photos on individual web pages and through group challenges.

Kimberly Hurd is a high-school teacher and has been writing professionally since 1999. She mainly focuses her writing on issues related to parenting, family life, cooking and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Oregon and a Master of Teaching from the University of Portland.