Teaching Kids Photography
Heading outdoors? Put a camera in your child’s hand and watch them connect with their environment on a whole new level. A little over a year ago I started taking my kids on photowalks, which turned up their level of excitement on our outdoor excursions. As time passed, I had to level up the adventures by giving my kids “Photo Assignments,” which included locating and photographing the subject.
You don’t need high-end cameras, you may choose to buy or pass on a camera. Shop smart if you’re buying one though, kids cameras often are more expensive then adult low-end cameras, and shoot very poor quality. If you’re my kids though, they know what good gear looks like! So solve that complaint, I’ve upgraded to better point and shoot cameras the more they learn about photography. If your experience is the same, this is a strategy to help get them over gear envy.
Lessons in Digital Photography
- Teach your child how to hold and use their camera.
Keep it short, simple and fun, full auto mode is okay to start! Whether the camera is old or small, teach them how to hold the camera and keep it clean and safe. Kids love buttons and switches the younger they are – this will be fun and can produce some funky photos. The more your empower them, the more successful the experience. Each trip, add one new camera operation tip… Like leave all the buttons alone ha!
- Lessons in composition.
Turn on the grid feature on the camera, explain the rule of thirds. Introduce you child to think small, as well the bigger picture. I had my kids bring along their favorite toy to take pictures of in different locations and composition.
- Spending time with their subject and surroundings.
Stillness teaches your child to connect with their surroundings. This focus helps render better composed shots, sharp and steady images that your child can be proud to show.
- Reviewing your images.
Make a popcorn event out of reviewing photos! Take the opportunity to have you child explain their photo and talk about their subject.
National Geographic “Your Shot”
This is primarily for adults, however I’ve used their Assignments & Stories section to gather ideas for our own photowalks. I also entered my Son’s photo into one of their assignment because I felt it was that good.
National Geographic “MyShot for Kids”
Nope they didn’t forget about the next generation of super fantastic photographers and storytellers.