Senior Photography Class

I have recently volunteered to teach a photography class at the Uxbridge Senior Center. Little did I know how little control I would have in setting up the logistics for this class. The representative for the Uxbridge Elderly Connection Inc. pretty much dictated the setup. We’re holding our first class May 12, 2016 at the Uxbridge Senior Center at 6:30 p.m.. That’s not only a tad late for seniors to be on the highway driving but it’s going to be dark or get dark before we even get into class time. Secondly, do the people who signed up for my class even own a camera? I’m not talking a cell phone here but a dedicated camera. Cell phone classes start next year. 🙂

Next we discussed editing software. Editing software? Cathy knew nothing about digital photography and the need to download the camera’s pictures onto a computer for postprocessing, another Greek word to her. I showed Cathy Photoshop Elements at $69.95 from Amazon.com. She’s going to her board of directors for the money for these items. There are three desktop computers, all hooked to the Internet, at the senior center. This will most assuredly help the photography/computer class for seniors before we’re done.

So you begin to see the logistical difficulty of teaching a group of people, any people, a hobby they may know nothing about in a manner where you don’t lose their attention in the first half hour they’re in the class.

What are we going to photograph in the course of this class? If we hold it at sundown, not much. We may just take turns taking pictures of each other. The bigger the class the slower this process will move along. If they’re not familiar with their cameras it could take forever. I know at least one of the students, Jack Keough, owns a top of the line Nikon D810 full frame DSLR. Is he going to get bored to death waiting for someone trying to figure out how to turn on their camera?

I think you get the idea behind this post. If I was King, as the old saying goes, I’d limit the class to 2-3 people with similar experience in photography itself and a prerequisite that the know the controls and settings of their own cameras. Ain’t gonna happen! Stay tuned for the subsequent posts on this class starting on May 12.

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6 thoughts on “Senior Photography Class

  1. If you’re volunteering, I don’t understand why you can’t say you’ll teach a group of only 3 or 4 at a time and set your own time and requirements. If they won’t go along with you, don’t volunteer. It should be easy to explain that your intention was to teach in a specific manner, which is comfortable for you and beneficial for everyone involved. If they misunderstood that and thought they could force you into their own mold, that isn’t your fault, and you should feel free to cancel the plans for the class. If it’s going to be nothing but problems, how can it help anyone? I teach adult classes all the time for a local junior college and get paid for it, but even though they pay me, they still allow ME to choose time, number of students, required materials, and — as much as possible — the place as well. It sounds to me like the people in the “Elderly Connection, Inc” are a little nuts.

    • Yup, they are. I’ve taught for years and Murphy’s Law is always in effect. Why do you think I hand picked zoo visitors who I offered personal tours? I want control of the situation.

  2. I hope it works out Bob,. I can understand why they jumped at your offer to teach but it is frustrating not to have control of the situation especially when the person you are dealing with doesn’t seem to know a lot about it either. More pre-course discussion with you would have been helpful rather than locking in a program. At least as you are going into summer there will be a bit of daylight during the first part of your class but given that it’s a Senior Centre I would have thought a day time class would make more sense.

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