Calgary

How photography is becoming a creative outlet for kids during pandemic

A Calgary-based photography program is challenging kids and teens stuck at home to test their creativity.

Online 30-day photo challenge attracting participants from all over the world

Lilly Mae Lacharity is a 10-year-old Calgarian taking part in the photo challenge. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

A Calgary-based photography program is challenging kids and teens stuck at home to test their creativity.

The Kids Photography Academy is behind a 30-day photo challenge that keeps participants busy learning new concepts. It's for kids ages eight to 16.

"I really wanted the kids to have an opportunity to be creative, move, get outside and connect, and hopefully the challenges would also give parents a bit of a break, too," said Janet Pliszka, founder of the academy.

Participants are challenged to take a picture every day and post it to a secure online forum for others to see and comment.

Lilly Mae Lacharity snapped this photo inspired by public health reminders to wash your hands during the pandemic. (Lilly Mae Lacharity)

There are more than 160 people taking part in the challenge from across Canada and the world, including Australia and the U.K.

Lilly Mae Lacharity, a 10-year-old Calgarian, is experimenting with different colours, shapes, textures, angles and lighting techniques.

"I think it's a really nice way to spend your time. It's really fun and you can just enjoy it once you start getting into it," she said.

"Some of [my photos] have been inside, some of them have been outside. I find a nice thing and take a picture of it and just find a way to make it look nice."

The girl's mom, Bianca Sinclair, said the program offers kids a creative alternative during this pandemic. 

"I find it super important for kids to have structure and routine and have something to do in lieu of not being able to go to school right now," said Sinclair.

Lilly Mae says she hopes to continue challenging herself beyond the 30 days. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

"It's kind of like that idea of an advent calendar for Christmas: you open it up and you get a little surprise … with the challenges. It's allowing them to see things with a different perspective," she said. 

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