Picture Power Quick Shots
A guide to creating a compelling photo essay

Photography Lesson Plans

Field trips offer students a window into a world new to them. In this post we will use a trip to a working farm as our example to show your students how to create a photo essay that describes what they say during their trip.

A photo essay documenting their experiences can serve as a powerful storytelling tool.

Here's a comprehensive guide for educators to prepare and guide students in creating a compelling photo essay of their day on a working farm or anywhere else you may be taking them.

preparation before the farm visit

Photography Lesson Plans

  • Introduction to Photography: Introduce basic photography concepts to students before the trip. Teach them about composition, framing, lighting, and angles to prepare them for capturing impactful images.
  • Understanding the Farm Visit: Educate students about the purpose of the field trip and the significance of a working farm. Discuss the aspects they might encounter, such as farm operations, animal husbandry, crop cultivation, or sustainable practices.
  • Discussing Photo Essay Objectives: Outline the objectives of the photo essay. Encourage students to focus on storytelling through images, capturing emotions, and highlighting the farm's unique elements.

Focus Areas on the Farm

Photography Lesson Plans

  • Farm Activities: Encourage students to photograph various farm activities, including planting, harvesting, feeding animals, or farm equipment in use. Emphasize capturing the energy and dynamics of farm life.
  • Nature and Landscape: Guide students to capture the farm's landscapes, seasonal changes, and the natural beauty surrounding them. Encourage shots that highlight the farm's environment and its connection to the wider landscape.
  • Farm Community: Encourage students to interact with farmers and workers. Capture portraits or candid moments that showcase the people who make the farm thrive. Focus on emotions, interactions, and stories behind the faces.

Guidance During the Farm Visit

Photography Lesson Plans

  • Observation and Exploration: Encourage students to observe keenly, explore different perspectives, and experiment with their photography. Guide them to notice details, patterns, and unique elements on the farm.
  • Engaging with Subjects: Encourage students to seek permission before taking photos of people or animals. Guide them on how to respectfully approach and engage with subjects to capture authentic moments.
  • Journaling and Note-Taking: Encourage students to take notes or maintain a journal during the visit. This helps them remember details and emotions associated with the photos they capture.

Completing the Photo Essay

Photography Lesson Plans

  • Image Selection and Curation: After the farm visit, guide students in selecting their best photos. Encourage them to curate a collection that tells a compelling story and showcases different aspects of the farm experience.
  • Sequencing and Narrative: Assist students in arranging the selected images in a sequence that narrates their farm visit coherently. Encourage them to consider the flow of the story and create a narrative structure.
  • Accompanying Captions or Text: Encourage students to add captions or short descriptions to their photos. This helps to provide context, convey emotions, or explain the significance of the images in their photo essay.

Photography Lesson Plans

A photo essay documenting a farm visit is a fantastic opportunity for students to blend photography skills with storytelling.

By preparing them beforehand, guiding their focus during the visit, and assisting in the completion of their photo essay, educators can empower students to capture the essence of the farm experience and share it with others through captivating imagery.

Photography lesson plans pack (Printables)

Jump right into teaching photography with our exclusive Photography Lesson Plans pack.


  • 10 Photography Lesson Plans
  • 1 Teacher's Guide 
  • 3 Photography Study Guides
  • 30-Day Photography Challenge
  • 1 Student Workbook
  • 24 Cut-Out Photo Flash Cards
  • 1 Photo Scavenger Hunt


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