Activity: Photography in the United States has often been overshadowed by more traditional art forms such as painting and sculpture. This activity will allow students to explore photography and then report to each other about what they've found.

  1. Discuss basic categories of photography that students are familiar with: documentary (press), landscape (nature), portraits (celebrity or not), and fashion (high and low) are some possible examples.
  2. Divide the class up into as many groups as there are categories, with each group using one of the photographic categories as its subject.
  3. Ask students to collect examples of the category.
    As a group, have the students discuss the elements of the photograph: What makes a color photo different from a black and white one? What elements are necessary and specific to a fashion photo that aren't for a landscape or for a journalistic photo?
  4. Have the students compile a list of these specifics and, as a group, create a poster in the style of an advertisement. Ask the students to argue for their photographic category as the best or most interesting style of photography. 
  5. Once the posters are complete, have each group present them to the rest of the class. Are there overlaps? Similarities? Gaps? Allow the whole class some discussion time together to talk about their choices.


Making Cameras From Oatmeal Boxes 

Visit the American Museum of Photography 

Get Your Photos Posted on the Web