Photo Ideas for Classroom Auction Projects

We sometimes get requests from folks wondering how we’ve done photography projects for auctions in the past. As parents and photographers this is one of our favorite areas to get involved with. This year Francisco and I tackled our son’s 4th grade class auction project with funky silhouettes. In an effort to give more families the opportunity to bid on a classroom project we thought we would take individual photos of the students and offer them individually to the families. We really wanted to create something that the parents and kid’s would be unlikely to ever have made for themselves but could see the value in owning as an art piece.

By setting up in the auditorium we were able to control the natural light to a minimum. Shining two studio strobes onto a white seamless paper we then separated the kids about 8’ from the background to really increase the contrast. With the ‘Black Eyed Peas’ as our soundtrack we had the kid’s dancing, grooving and goofing around. Then they each got to pick a prop from a stash of basketballs, flowers, books, skateboards and other age appropriate goodies to interact with. A modern take on the old fashioned silhouette…the kids had a blast and so did we. Above is a sample of our son’s images that will be mounted on 5’ bamboo plywood squares.

In 2nd grade, we brought in a white background too and had the kids jumping one at a time. Probably averaged about 3-4 images per child and the whole shooting time took less than 45 minutes for 25 students. Their classroom teacher was game to jump as well which made the photo composite even more special. In photoshop the white background was knocked out and the kids were arranged in a simulated line and pieced together in a compositionally pleasing pattern. The finished print size was around 40” in length and about 9” high. At the end of the year we made bookmarks for all the kids using this same group photo. A fun momento for all the students.



Kim Campbell

Photographer, Portland, OR, USA