Thursday, May 9, 2013

Say Cheese!

The single most important component of a camera is
the twelve inches behind it!
~ Ansel Adams

My first ESL student to complete the first challenge of the summer:  

Each summer, I present my students with a series of 5 challenges - things to do in the community, in English, by themselves. 
  1. The first is relatively easy - buy a gift card at Starbucks.  
  2. Next, ask an employee at Wal-Mart's to help them find an item.  
  3. The third is to return that item and get their money back.  
  4. Fourth - apply for a library card and check out a book.  
  5. Finally, make a reservation at a restaurant over the phone and then meet me there for lunch - order in English and talk with me during lunch in English.  

They have to bring the evidence of their success in each challenge to class the following week, and I take their pictures and post them on a bulletin board.  

My big challenge is getting them to smile for their pictures!  ;)

In English, we tell our photographic subjects to say "Cheese!"  Apparently in many Spanish countries they say "Whiskey!" instead.  ;)

But neither one works for me during these mini-photo shoots.  :(

I can sometimes make them smile by saying, "Pretend that you are happy!"  ;)

Which reminds me of my Dad - who REALLY hates having his picture taken.  He is a hard case.  "Pretend that you are happy," only got an awkward grimace - it took "Pretend you are happier than that!" to get a real smile...    

Do you like having your picture taken?  How do you get your photographic subjects to feel comfortable and smile naturally?  

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