Homeschooling and Wholesome Imagery

 

Young girl being homeschooled studying through technology at home
Young girl being homeschooled studying through technology at home

Homeschooling and Wholesome Imagery

I was honoured to meet a young girl who welcomed me into her home to shoot a day in her life at her school. She is homeschooled, a difficult decision for her parents but one that is paying off. I just photographed what I saw, no tidying, propping or styling, just the camera and one light followed her moves. In her bedroom at her desk she twirled around on the swivel chair. She used the laptop for research, scribbling notes and listening to music as she worked. In a quiet snug in the playroom she curled up on soft cushions to read a book. Occasionally her loyal dog joined her, only distracted for a moment to stroke his silky ears. Whenever she wanted to she headed outdoors to explore her natural environment, climbing trees and building dens. At the weekend she met a friend to explore the nature in the woods, again I tagged along capturing the friendship and trust between the young girls.

The structure of public school is not for everyone and the popularity of homeschooling is rising with studies showing that students who are homeschooled are scoring higher than public school students in standardised tests, they seem to be smarter and more mature earlier and become self directed learners as adults.

The educational, physical and emotional freedom means students are learning what they want when they want, they can pace themselves to learn when they are ready and live in a world unencumbered with peer pressure, adolescent trends and dangerous experimentation. They can learn in their outdoor environment, exploring and being inquisitive and adventurous. Of course, advances in technology together with the availability of resources over the internet make homeschooling easier and more effective today.

Reflecting on the shoot I learnt two things. First I had to scale down the production to limited equipment, using available lighting and one strobe enabled me to capture moments as they happened. Secondly I saw how being homeschooled can be good wholesome fun, promoting moral well-being, independence and a positive approach to learning.

Girls with dreams

Girl puts robot head on boy in the woods
Girl puts robot head on boy in the woods

Girls with dreams came to life when we took a few kids and some junk, mixed them up with some creativity, sprinkled some imagination and topped it off with a bit of fun.

We wanted to capture the belief that ‘Girls with dreams become women with vision’ and to show that boys AND girls can have the same ambitions and dreams.

Big brands have been using advertising to spread a message to blur the gender stereotype that often shows males in for example, the mechanical or science industries . The  Verizon’s Inspire Her Mind commercial highlighting girls and science and countless others show that female empowerment has become a significant focus in corporate marketing

For this shoot we cast a few kids aged between 4 and 10, both male and female. Wanting a large play area outdoors to enhance the children’s creativity and imagination we revisited a location we were familiar with belonging to a friend, this wooded area is  her back garden! The kids were local people who knew each other so a good relationship from the start. We made a few props and to start with briefed them that they were to build a robot. Then it became apparent that kids are best if left alone to explore and discover. They made the scenes better, interacted with each other and equally shared the ‘ inventer’ role and the robot role between boys and girls. In a candid way of shooting we watched and clicked away the real things happening. Sometimes it was necessary to get them to repeat something really good…they were happy to oblige!

This shot started a the girl building her robot in the garage then taking it to the woods. She ‘pretended’ to direct it left, right, straight ahead with simple commands. Malfunctions with a loose head meant she had to keep making adjustments which is when this was captured.