Summer is a great time for children to enjoy a more relaxed schedule. With homework and extra-curricular activities filling their school year, there is limited time to nurture a passion like photography. Fortunately, there are excellent summer photography camps for kids that help make the most of the summer months.
There are many reasons to consider enrolling children in a photography summer camp. Fostering a love of art can lead to a lifetime of interest or possibly a future career. Camp also provides opportunities to be creative, build friendships, and learn new skills.
While there are many photography summer programs, these are some definite stand-outs to consider.
Top 8 Photography Summer Camps
In 2016, Atwater Photo Workshops owner Greg Cohen responded to the frequent requests to offer photography classes to the public, including private lessons and tutoring sessions. He works as an editorial photographer, focusing on documentaries with animals, people, and food.
Located in Los Angeles, Ca, Atwater Photo Camps are available in virtual and in-person formats, providing maximum flexibility. Middle school and high school students ages 8 to 16 build photography skills by completing activities, practicing, learning vocabulary, and challenging the way they see the world. Counselors are industry professionals with education experience dedicated to inspiring a passion for the arts. A showcase exhibition for family and friends completes the exciting week of learning and fun.
There is a maximum enrollment limit of 20 students per group and is suited for beginners and intermediate photographers alike. For the in-person camps, kids are encouraged to bring their own cameras, but there are some available for those who don’t.
The virtual camp has significantly expanded and now includes campers worldwide from many states and countries. Screen time is minimal, with a focus on engagement. The summer camps are spaced, so students work independently and then regroup via Zoom to review skills and share experiences.
Dates: June 13 – August 26.
Time: 9am – 3pm
Time: 9am – 3:30 pm
Since its founding in 1998, Performing Arts Workshops have provided young photographers with opportunities to develop their artistic vision and talents. Founder Cheryl Appleman’s vision to offer programs to LA area children expanded to include summer camp.
Students learn fundamental skills and apply them to their own unique projects. Sessions also include practice editing and enhancing photos. There is a limit of 12 students ages 8-14 per camp. Each student should bring their own digital camera and flash drive.
The camps are offered in a weekly session with different locations throughout the Los Angeles area. After a week-long session, campers take home a portfolio of printed pictures of their work to share with family and friends.
Dates: June 13 – Aug 1st in weekly sessions
Tuition: $480 per week session
Times: 9 am – 3 pm
With a focus on camera technology and individualized vision, Creative Photography Workshops in LA seeks to help students reach their creative potential. Founded in 2004, Tracey Landworth and Santino Zafarana utilize their experience in both photography and education to provide a fun, challenging camp for young people.
Sessions are one week long and are divided into beginner and intermediate parts. The beginner course focuses on fundamentals and includes hands-on activities designed to challenge and inspire. The intermediate course teaches more advanced techniques in editing and composition. The beginner course must be completed to move on to intermediate.
High school students ages 13-19 are welcome at the day camp with their own DSL camera and lunch. Advanced users can also advance their abilities and expertise.
Dates: July 5th-9th
Basics in lighting, image capture, and composition help campers make the most out of their DSL camera during sessions at this camp. Founder and owner Alan Kesselhaut has years of experience instructing and mentoring photographers worldwide. Along with the other amazing teachers, he provides a unique opportunity for teenagers to work both in-person and virtually to master photography skills.
Located in Princeton, NJ, the camp offers students the chance to work at a fast pace, with plenty of opportunities to ask questions and meet others interested in the field. Students learn how to use lighting to their advantage, composition, Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom, editing, and much more.
The in-person option takes students on outdoor trips to find the perfect photographic opportunities. Kids need to bring their own cameras and computer to work with different photography software.
Dates: July 17 – July 22 & August 7 – August 12
Time: Various depending on the day
The National Geographic Photo Camps offer youth an opportunity to learn from the best photographers and journalists from around the world. Kids from different countries can join their online and in-person programs.
The camps take place worldwide, with multiple locations in the United States and countries in Africa and Europe. Their goal is to help kids build up their skills while also experiencing personal growth and becoming more self-confident. Kids can work on their storytelling skills by displaying their photos and telling the stories and meaning behind them.
Apart from these camps, National Geographic routinely hosts expeditions into different places for wildlife photography. Some of their popular excursions include Alaska, Winter In Yellowstone, Whale Watching in Baja California, and more.
Inspired to connect people and communities, Tara Layman developed the youth camps to provide opportunities to teens interested in photography. Students master camera settings and practice using the tools both inside the studio and outside in the Northern California Bay Area. There are locations in San Francisco, CA, and Oakland, CA.
Storytelling through photography is the approach used throughout the course. Students are given feedback, 1:1 close instruction, and opportunities to work with professional photographers and fellow learners. The camps are five days long and include three digital prints to share with family and friends.
There are options for complete beginners and intermediate users who want to learn a particular subject in-depth.
Dates: June 6 – Aug.15th, depending on course level
Time: 9 am – 3:00pm
Tuition: Varies by level and week
Volume Photography offers a program in Atlanta, GA, designed to develop photography and business skills under the direction of volume photography industry professionals.
The camp sessions are available in person at the Kimpton Overland Hotel in June. Compared to other camps, this one is aimed at adults instead of children. Photographers can practice their skills and learn new things from others.
It’s a great way for professionals to network and meets other industry experts. Got Photo routinely holds events throughout the country in different states like Nevada and Florida.
Dates: June 24 – 26th
If your child is interested in enhancing their photography skills, then GTA Photography Chicago programs are a great choice. Well-established instructors guide campers through what it means to be a top-notch photographer. An interactive atmosphere is cultivated, allowing the development of meaningful relationships through a shared passion. The camp is split into two groups based on age, one for younger kids and another one for teenagers.
The Kids Photography Camp for ages 8-12 introduces children to their cameras through interactive demonstrations and field trips. The Kids Camp 2 is the next step in the process, allowing them to get creative, and then Photo Editing will enable them to perfect the photos they take.
The Teen Photography Camp for ages 13-17 follows a similar structure to the previous one but with more options. Alongside ‘Teen Camp 1’ and ‘Teen Camp 2’ as introductory sessions, they can also participate in fine art, lifestyle, street & documentary, photo editing, and CIT programs. Their day camps offer before and after care for busy parents, as well as a virtual photography camp.
Dates: To be announced
Time: 9 am – 3:00pm
Tuition: Varies by level and week
Martin has been in the summer camp industry for 7 years now. He has worked in different roles for camps, including as a marketing director for summer camps in the United States. Martin enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities but likes hiking and kayaking the most. He’s also a huge fan of traveling.