Photography workshop at Kukula Kids’ Club!
The Kukula Kids’ Club, a new initiative for The Sloth Conservation Foundation, aims to enable and empower children with additional educational classes, gain new skills through workshops and provide them with fun activities they may not usually have access to due to geographical or financial barriers.
Recently we teamed up with the amazing Girls Who Click foundation to arrange a week-long photography workshop for the 11 children in our Kukula Kids’ Club.
The Kukula Kids’ Club
All of our children in the club, aged 7-12, also participate in the El Puente – The Bridge project. This incredible organization has been serving the indigenous community for decades, they give space to hundreds of indigenous families, helping to provide; food, cultural events, classes, clothing, and school supplies, among many other things.
We wanted the Kukula club to serve the indigenous communities of the area so we were so grateful to team up with El Puente for this. One of the pillars of SloCo’s mission is to actively work with other organizations, individually we can make small changes, but together we can have a huge impact. El Puente worked with us to choose 11 children that attended their project to be our first group of the new Kukula Club.
Girls Who Click
We also teamed up with Girls Who Click (GWC), a nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area, to bring photography to our Kukukla kids. Founded by Suzi Eszterhas, an award-winning wildlife photographer, she sought to create a foundation to inspire young girls to join the nature and wildlife photography industry.
In a heavily male-dominated field, they aimed to bridge this gap and, to do so, partner with full-time working professional photographers around the country to offer free nature photography workshops for teen girls.
GWC kindly offered to send one of their partners, the amazing Diana Caballero, to give a free week-long workshop to our kids. Diana, from Mexico, is an amazing photographer in her own right, and we couldn’t wait to host her here and give the children this amazing opportunity.
For the photography workshop, we wanted to provide the kids with the necessary tools and knowledge to learn to use the camera as a means of photographic expression through play and experimentation. Through the activities, we wanted to show them how our gaze is a very powerful instrument to share what we are and what surrounds us.
Most of the children do not have access to cameras or phones, so when we decided to do a workshop with them, we knew that we wanted to be able to provide them with their own cameras. We used this digital camera and they ended up being the perfect little cameras for the kids. Thank you to everyone who helped support this project so that we were able to provide this item for the children to use.
The photography workshop:
During our 4-day workshop, Diana set a variety of activities for the children to do so they could learn how to use their cameras and also understand different methods for taking photos. We also set them homework each day to do specific photography assignments at home.
- We explain what the camera is, the elements that make it up, how it works, who invented it, and its evolution to this day.
- We play and explore the multiple possibilities of looking through a rectangle made with a piece of cardboard that simulates the viewfinder of a camera.
- We observe our pet, we follow it everywhere and we take pictures of it. We share and exchange experiences of our pets during the workshop.
- We take our favorite toy and imagine a normal day in the life of the toy. We take 10 photographs recounting its life. At the end of the activity, we tell how its life is.
- We take photos representing different emotions, for example, joy, sadness, anger, fear, and surprise.
We imagine that we are very small beings, like an ant, a beetle, a dragonfly, a bee…
- We become that being and we see many things that we could not see with the naked eye; details and textures, what used to be small can now be something huge.
- We incorporate the latest images, review all our photographic work and make a group selection to present an exhibition.
An unexpected visit
We were also lucky to be visited by a sloth on day 3 – this was amazing and it came down so low that we were able to get amazing photos of the sloth – the perfect gift for our Kukula Club kids!
The future of the Photography workshop:
We exhibited the children’s photos at El Puente over the weekend so that during their soup kitchen that Saturday, the families who visit El Puente, would be able to see all the kids’ hard work. Now that the children have been taught how to use the cameras we plan to continue working with them and having them photograph different experiences. We have met twice since the workshop and they have worked on getting the following photos:
- A beach landscape photo
- A photo of movement i.e. dancing, running, jumping
- Photos of the great green macaws
We want to be able to continue to nurture the children’s passion for photography and capturing the world around them. In October, for international sloth day, we are also planning on doing a huge exhibition with the kids’ photos to showcase their talent at the event.
In the future we hope to give this workshop to more children in the area, continuing to work with Girls Who Click to do so.
Director of Education & Outreach