On Assignment: How to Capture Kids Having Fun While Coding

By David Schonauer   Monday October 9, 2017

This article originally appeared here.

The Colorado-based startup, Bitsbox was creating an informational video to promote their subscription service, and they needed a photographer to create complimentary stills. Known for her bright lifestyle images and fun, natural pictures of kids, Boulder photographer Julia Vandenover  fit the bill.

Bitsbox is a monthly subscription service that sends kid-friendly coding projects to their customers’ door every month. It works like this: the children interact with the provided cards and enter the code they've learned into Bitsbox’s website. Then they can instantly see the results of their efforts in the form of apps on their computer or any device. Bitsbox's creators needed Julia to capture, fun, but educational images of this process, interacting with the product and demonstrating how it works.

In the pre-production phase, Julia worked with the producer to find six kids and a suitable shoot location. Julia ended up reaching out on Facebook and emailing families around the area who had kids in Bitsbox’s target age group of 9-12 years old.

Once Julia and the producer found the talent, they then settled on a location. Julia had shot in this particular location previously, so she already was already familiar with space and what it had to offer.

As the shoot began, Julia remembers many of the children being apprehensive about the whole thing, not knowing how to act in front of the camera. Julia used her natural ability to connect with kids to help her coax them out of their shells.

At first the kids were quiet and unsure about the process, but as the shoot went along they understood we wanted them to interact with the product in a natural and fun way.  Once they all realized I wanted them to be themselves and have fun, the energy of the shoot exploded.

In the end, Julia ended up with some very light and playful images that strike a balance between showing kids having fun and illustrating how Bitsbox works in an appealing way.

Julia’s pictures have been used in Bitsbox’s advertising and on their social media. Although she has no immediate plans for the pictures other than self-promotion, Julia hopes she’ll get the chance to work with the folks at Bitsbox again in the near future.

See more of Julia at


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