Here at Pics of Asia, we’re photographers, yes – but first and foremost, we’re teachers. So for us to lead school students seemed like a perfect fit! Over the past few years, we’ve welcomed several international schools into our photography tours and workshops, based around Hoi An in central Vietnam. Each tour has been a resounding success – and we’re sure that 2019 will be no exception.
Interested in organizing a photography tour and workshop in Hoi An for your international school students? There are tonnes of benefits involved: namely that learning about travel photography in Hoi An is a safe, fun and educational experience that’ll give your students wonderful memories long after they leave.
Here’s a breakdown of what the students will learn on our tours:
Learn about photography
Obviously, the first goal of having a group of students here in Hoi An is to teach them about photography. This includes anything from camera settings – and how to handle a camera – to the basics of composition and storytelling.
These workshops incorporate a combination of classroom-based theory and shooting on location. In the classroom, we discuss camera settings, the theory behind composition and creativity, plus how to edit and process images with software like Adobe Lightroom.
On location, we apply these principles to a real-life situation: in the countryside around Hoi An. We meet the locals going about their daily activities, from fishing to farming, making handicrafts to selling vegetables. These scenes create an ideal backdrop for a great photo – and of course, show students a little slice of Vietnamese culture.
Learn about Vietnam
We’ve been based in Hoi An for over 10 years – and we love to share our love for the area! Vietnam is a very safe country in which to travel and practise photography, as people here are extremely friendly and accommodating.
Our photography tours bring students to the best locations, at the best time of day. And since we focus on people in the countryside, students have the chance to explore the less-visited parts of Vietnam, enabling them to capture more authentic images of local life.
Students get the opportunity to interact with the people we encounter, to chat with them and to learn more about their lives. Coming from the city, this is often an amazing learning experience for the children!
And of course, we can’t mention Vietnam without talking about its food! Our photography tours are becoming more and more like food photography tours, as we enjoy plenty of culinary treats along the way. Seeing how this food is grown, sold and prepared gives students yet another unique insight into Vietnamese life.
Learn how to capture Hoi An’s Old Town
We’re based here for many reasons – one of them being that Hoi An is a photographer’s paradise. For instance, the Ancient Town is classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. Built in the 16th and 17th centuries, it’s a fascinating mix of Chinese, Japanese and French architecture – making it a unique place to photograph.
On our photography workshops, we usually organize one or two sessions in order to capture the Ancient Town at the best time of day. It means the day starts pretty early, but it also means that students can learn about long exposure and how to use a tripod.
Learn how to edit and select for better storytelling
Photography involves learning how to use a camera and learning how to compose. The end goal of our tours is for students to improve their storytelling skills, using photography as their medium.
We’ll teach the students how to download, select, organize, edit and export their images, using editing software, for both web and print purposes. This is a crucial stage, as it allows the stories that the students have created to live on.
Learn to develop creativity
By teaching photography to the students, and particularly composition, we strive to develop their creativity. Our goal is to encourage each student to start looking at things in a different way: the photographer’s way. Once students are armed with these tools, we show them how to apply them to their own tastes and preferences, awakening their inner voice and developing their natural talent.
Learn about travelling ethically
Because we primarily focus our photography on people, it’s necessary to discuss the different ways of approaching these people in order to take their photos. Learning these key lessons will enable the students to practise ethical travel photography, showing respect to their subjects wherever they may be.
Also, since students are encouraged to get close and get to know their subjects more, they can further improve their storytelling skills.
Learn about the local wildlife
This is not what we had in mind when we first started organizing photography trips for international school students – mainly, because we usually focus our photography on people. We soon realized, however, that young kids are easily distracted by any type of wildlife they encounter… especially when they come from a big city!
As we spend most of our time running photography workshops from the countryside of Hoi An, we have ample opportunities to approach all kinds of creatures: from the pet dogs of Hoi An Old Town, to the chickens running free in the villages, to the huge variety of sea-life on the beaches in fishing villages!
The chaotic atmosphere of the fishing villages we visit – and the amount of new animals that the students have never seen before – offers a unique experience for them. Another chance to learn, and another great memory to take home.
Want to offer your students a unique learning experience?
Hoi An has the culture, the sights and the people to make that happen. It truly is a magical place – and here at Pics of Asia, we’re excited to bring your students on the journey of a lifetime.