In today’s world which is filled with stress, we seldom get to spend quality time with our kids. If you teach your child an activity or a skill, not only will you help them so that they learn a skill which helps in the future, you can also use it as an opportunity to bond with them. You get a chance to spend quality time with your child. This helps to improve their personality and confidence.
Your child can be taught photography which is one of the best skills wherein you both get to be with each other and enjoy the moment while learning the skill. This will help them be confident and thus be social and have more friends and will feel connected to nature. The skill could become a hobby which in turn could become their passion and even a profession. The child benefits in more than one way.
Once you decide on teaching photography to your children many questions will come to your mind. How and where to start from? Are there any set guidelines that one must follow while teaching photography to your child? I will share the initial five steps that one needs to follow while teaching photography to their child.
It is most important to remember that the utmost important thing is to make the photography experience enjoyable to your kid while you teach it. You must not miss the opportunity of teaching something new to your kid as this can help you both bond with each other.
So here we go.
First Step: Purchase a camera along with its case
Despite the camera prices have dropped over the years, you must invest in the best camera that will suit your child’s purpose. It could be either be an instant pictures camera like a Polaroid or one that saves images like the digital camera or an inexpensive film camera that is well known as the toy camera. If your child is more interested in videos rather than photos, you can even get for them a camcorder for kids.
It is utmost important you don’t hand over your used camera to your kid but instead invest in a brand new camera as this gesture of yours will make them feel happy and proud that they own the new camera bought by you which is a feeling your used camera will not be able to give. Also, note that it is advisable to buy a camera case that is sturdy where your child can place the camera to keep it safe as children are bound to drop things now and then accidentally.
Second Step: How to operate the camera
After you finish with the first step of buying a good camera the next is to let your child know on how to use it without dropping it by teaching them in holding it the right way with fingers being placed well so they can focus on clicking excellent photographs. By putting the strap around your neck or on your wrist or by letting them try it on themselves they can learn on how the strap should be used. You must instruct your child on how the camera should be safe. In case the camera lens has a cover then the child must be taught to take off the cover prior to the shoot and place it back in its original place one the photography is done with.
Polaroid camera for kids is a must buy for children as they will get a boost to shoot more photographs by seeing the instant hard copy of the pictures taken by them. This will enhance their photography interest even further. Remember to advise your child that until the camera processes the photo completely, they should not touch it as it can get hamper the photograph totally.
Third Step: Camera’s basic parts
The camera has many parts, so you need to make your child aware of the parts that they would be using by explaining the main purpose and function of every part. The easiest to start with is the part to switch on the camera and once switched on you can check the lens, release button of the shutter, main camera body, and viewfinder. Lastly, you can teach about the importance of mode dial, flash, zoom and various other buttons used to control the camera to get better photographs.
Fourth Step: Keeping the camera steady
Initially, your child’s hands might shake as a result of which the first few photos clicked by your child generally will be unclear. On seeing these photographs the child will get disinterested in them and irritated due to their attention span being really short.
Being able to teach children to keep the camera sturdy and hold it well with both hands is extremely important. Your child can be guided to increase the camera’s steadiness by keeping the camera close to the body and thereby taking the support of the body to keep the camera sturdy to get clear photographs. A tripod helps keep the camera steadier. In the absence of a tripod or if the camera weighs a lot then your child can be taught to get clear photos by keeping their elbows over the top of a table.
Fifth Step: one subject to be focused on only
A child’s attention can get distracted by a small object or objects as their attention span is very low, as mentioned before. Plus, we have the trait or habit of capturing many objects at a time in one frame as possible. Your child needs to be explained by you that they need to first focus only on one subject with which the frame will be filled so they can take distraction free photographs.
It is a very valuable and interesting experience both for you and your child to be taught photography by you. This will allow you and your child to bond well and help them to gain a new different and new perspective of what is around by getting to view the world from the lens of the camera. Hoping you must have enjoyed this post that tells you all about the initial five steps needed reference photography to be taught to your children.
About the Author:
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 kids cameras. You can visit Dan at his website www.kidscameraguide.com.