Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Taking photos to use in portfolios

A great preschool portfolio includes tons of evidence of growth and development.  Some of this evidence should be work samples and artwork, but evidence can also be photos of children participating in learning experiences, interacting with each other, and exploring their environment.

Capturing these moments with your camera can take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it will be like second nature (and the children will eventually forget that you're taking their picture and stop making those cheesy faces).  Here are some tips for taking great portfolio photos;

  • try to get multiple different views of the same thing - close ups and wide shots can both be useful.
  • Pay attention to facial expressions.  Make sure to get those in the picture, they tell the story of what is happening and how the child feels about it. 
  • Is the child involved in a hands on activity? Snap a photo of what their hands are doing.
  • Don't feel like you need pictures that are of that child alone, feel free to include others in the shot.  These photos show the great social interactions that happen as children are learning.
  • Snap photos continuously, you can always go back and delete the images that you don't want, but you never know when you'll catch an amazing expression or action.
  • Photos don't have to be of exciting events, taking a photo of a quiet moment, such as two children reading a book, is often just as valuable.  
When I upload my photos to the computer I keep them organized in files that work for me. I like to organize the photos in monthly files, which are then separated into different learning domains (literacy, math, science, etc.).  This makes it really easy when I'm looking for portfolio evidence to find September's science folder and the image I'm looking for will be right there.  It doesn't matter how you organize your photos as long as the system works for you. 

Do you use photos in the classroom? Share a link to a blog post or pin that shows what you do with your photos!

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