Written by Jen from Cole’s Classroom
Kids have a lot of time and energy to explore different kinds of activities. If you want to teach them photography, you need fun and uncomplicated strategies for them to learn. To get you started, here are tips for sharing your photography hobby with your kids, so you can bond with them while expanding their creativity.
5 Tips for Sharing Your Photography Hobby with Your Kids
Teaching photography to kids requires feeding their curiosity and creativity through games or projects suitable for their age. You need patience in introducing the basic rules while giving them space in exploring. Allowing children to use a real camera and printing their works can also inspire them to practice more.
Print and Display Photos
Kids are tactile by nature, so letting them feel prints is a great way to get excited about photographs. Print their favorite photos, even if they turn out blurred or crooked. What’s crucial is that you give them the chance to cherish the joy in seeing a shot in its printed glory.
Show your kids how proud you are by putting the prints in a frame, hanging them on walls, or sticking prints to the refrigerator door. Besides giving your children a sense of pride, displaying their works acts as a visual reminder for them to continue creating wonderful photographs.
You can also support this by posting the photos on your social networking accounts or uploading them on an online portfolio. In this way, grandparents or friends away from you can also show some love. Who knows, you may even think of opening a photo business with your kid’s pictures.
Let Them Use a Real Camera
The first step to getting children interested in photography is to allow them to experience the real deal. You don’t have to hand them a high-end DSLR right away, as they may feel overwhelmed with the controls.
Take baby steps and introduce them to a digital camera. You can also try using an Instax film camera, so your kids can see their pictures on print at once. Be ready for cases where they may drop the gadget, that’s why a point-and-shoot camera is probably more appropriate at this phase.
Make sure to attach a strap for support, and always remind your children to be careful with handling gadgets. Keep the camera accessible, so they can easily pick it up and practice photography.
Feed Their Curiosity
A good approach to introducing photography to kids is to stimulate and appreciate their curiosity. Observe what aspect of photography they tend to focus on, and then cultivate that interest by talking about what they need to know.
Start with the basics like turning a camera on and off, or using the most important camera settings. Demonstrate how they can experiment with lighting or different composition techniques. You can give instructions on what subjects to shoot or how they can fill the frame with elements.
Keep things simple, and be patient in answering their questions. It’s essential that your children understand a single concept first before moving to another one. As they grow older, you can work on more complex things like trying out different photography niches or adding accessories when taking photos.
Create a Photography Game or Project
One of the best ways to share your photography hobby with your kids is by doing fun photography projects. You can use the following ideas to incorporate photography into a child’s normal activities:
- Scavenger hunt: Make your kids photograph the things they find depending on an assigned color or theme.
- Photography challenge: Another way to improve your kid’s photography skills is to create a weekly or monthly photo challenge. Create an activity with photographs in mind. Set a goal like collecting photos of flowers or their favorite food.
- Toy stories: Combine playtime with imagination by allowing your kids to make a plot using their favorite toys. Pose their stuffed toys or dolls as if they are moving and speaking. Take pictures of every scene, print them out, and turn it into a picture book for bedtime storytelling.
- Photo walk: Set a date where you can all go outside to see a different environment or subject. Let your kids photograph pedestrians crossing a street or dogs playing in a park. Ask them what they imagine when you tell them keywords like ‘something colorful’ or ‘something soft’.
- Journaling or Scrapbooking: Start a photo journal, and give your kids another way to express creativity by combining pictures and texts.
- Museum hopping: Introduce kids to different forms of art that may inspire them to try out things. Go to arts and cultural events where they can see iconic art pieces or other photography styles.
- Event documentation: Whenever there’s a special occasion, or you simply want to have a-day-in-the-life kind of pictures, allow your child to take over the camera instead. Give your kids the freedom to document moments from their perspective.
Encourage Them to Explore
Kids are natural adventurers. Even as an adult, you know how micromanagement or interference can squash creativity and confidence. While it’s understandable that you want to guide your kids, especially in handling a camera, you also have to give them creative control.
Children have unique perspectives, and what they see as interesting or important may differ from what you believe is photo-worthy. Once you hand them the camera, take a step back, and let them dive into their imaginations. You can give constructive feedback, yet make sure to pair it with compliments and words of encouragement.
Allow kids to experiment with photography and make mistakes. At this stage, they don’t have to do everything by the book right away. This is also an excellent chance to teach children how to make decisions on their own.
Sharing your photography hobby with your kids is a fun opportunity to instill creativity and create memories. While you can introduce technicalities, allow them to find the best way to learn. Urge them to take lots of photos, so you can all see the beauty of the world through a child’s perspective.