Our post today is compliments of guest blogger, Dan Barr. You can find a link to his website below!
How to introduce photography to your kid – 5 essential tips
In today’s world, most of us constantly have a camera on us via our mobile phone. We can just point and click. This makes taking photographs very easy. In addition to that, kids learn technology very fast. That is why teaching photography to kids today is easy and fun. In addition to helping them pick a new hobby, you give them an opportunity to learn a new skill and get out of the house rather than being on mobile games or video games the whole day or even worse, stuck to the television.
Letting your child control the camera has a surprising side result too. We start seeing the world via their eyes which has a very innocent and fresh outlook.
Let’s get started on the top five essential tips to introduce your child to photography.
1. Give your child access to a camera
Your child will fall in love with photography faster if they feel a sense of ownership over the camera. Give them a used one or your current one or even show them how to use the camera on an old phone of yours. Teach them to use the various features of the camera.
Once you have given it to them, step back and let them start experimenting with the camera. If you don’t want them to use an old camera, you can give them a good, inexpensive camera which is good for kids. The child-proof cameras that are available today are made especially for kids i.e. they have smaller grips and buttons and they are built to withstand drops. It would be great for your kid to have a new camera that they know is only for them. This will help reduce your interference too and allow your child to explore the camera on their own.
2. Teach the basics
When you start your kids on photography, it is important to teach them the basics. Some of the important points that you need to teach them is that they need to hold the camera steady so that they get an image in focus. One of the best ways to hold the camera steady is to use your body for support. You can demonstrate to them how to tuck their elbows against their body so that they can get support to hold the camera. They need to fill the frame with the subject of the image. They need to choose an angle to click the photo so that there background clutter is reduced as much as possible. Another important tip for a child is that they should always put the strap of the camera around their neck before they start to take photographs. A camera can easily fall from the hands of a child so this precaution is necessary.
3. Step back
Once your child has learnt the basics of photography and how they need to click photographs so that the camera is safe, the best thing that you can do for your child is to take a step back. Let them go out on their own and click the things that attract their eye. In the evening, they will come over with excitement in their eyes and show you what they have clicked. You can sit with them and make suggestions for each photo as to how they could have improved it. Make sure that you praise them for the photos which have been clicked well.
As parents, we are so used to protecting our children that we resist the need to let go and allow them to explore photography on their own. But unless they click photos on their own, they won’t be able to develop their own unique style.
4. Make clicking photographs easy and fun
As adults, we are used to advanced features and we try to explain that to our children. The problem is that when we complicate things, our children get disheartened and lose interest. The best thing you can do is just keep the camera on a point and click mode and let your child experiment with it.
Though you shouldn’t complicate things for your child when they use the camera, it doesn’t mean that you should make photography interesting by setting up challenges for them. You can ask them to click as many cars as they can or images of a certain color. Another interesting way to improve your child’s photography is to keep them as an official photographer for a family trip that you make. This allows them to capture your whole family having fun and will help them to create life-long memories.
You can also try to have a contest between your children where they can capture the most colorful photos or the photo which has the most people in it, etc.
5. Make use of the photos
The best way to encourage your child to click photos is to use the photos actively. You can get mugs online with the photos that they have clicked and they can use it daily. You can also take prints of the photos and stick it on the refrigerator. Another great way to use their photos is to make them into cards and send them for festivals to your friends and family.
Introducing your child to photography is introducing them to a whole new world of colors and images. Many children turn their childhood hobby into a life-long passion and even their career.
A quick recap of the essential tips when you introduce your child to photography: You should get them a camera which they can use completely for themselves. You should teach them the basics and once you have taught them the basics, you should let go and allow them to explore photography on their own. You should make clicking photos exciting, fun and enjoyable by setting up small challenges and competitions and finally, it would be great and would give your child a tremendous sense of validation if you print and use the photos.
Dan Barr is a photographer, a parent to two girls, and the founder of KidsCameraGuide.com, a blog which is all about teaching photography to kids and . You can visit Dan at his website www.kidscameraguide.com.