You may have noticed that most children these days spend a major portion of their time, using gadgets like tablets and mobile phones. This can stagnate the development of their mind. It negatively impacts their creativity. Children stay indoors in the virtual world and find it difficult to make friends in real life. Their social interactions skills take a hit and so does their overall personality development.
One of the most effective solutions to counter this is to get your child involved in a creative activity. Photography is an activity that will inspire their imagination. They will learn to find beauty and appreciate things which they would not even notice otherwise. Learning photography will enhance the experience of their routine activities as photography can be paired with a lot of activities. For example, if you have prepared your child’s favorite dish for their meal, they can click a photograph of it (Food Photography) or if they are attending a birthday party of a family member or a friend, they can click photographs of the decoration, the cake and the people present there. You can take your child outdoors on a walk by the beach, or a hike up the hill, and they can click photographs of the scenic beauty. By going through the photographs they have clicked, your child will be able to take in more aspects of the surroundings than they would in a fleeting moment.
Listed below are a few tips on how to introduce your child to photography.
I: Purchase a camera
Over time, there has been a substantial drop in the price of a camera. There are many good cameras that you can buy at affordable prices. However, you must ensure you buy a camera that is most suitable for your child. A digital camera for kids would be great as they can click as many photos as they want without worrying about wasting film. You can consider buying a DSLR camera for your child if they are older. They will have the ability to grasp the complex functions on it. If your child is small, you can buy them a kid’s camera. They are sturdy yet light in weight and have an ergonomic build. They will fit perfectly in the hands of your young artist.
II: Teach your child how to use the camera
Familiarize yourself with the camera. Or you can quickly browse through the instruction manual to acquaint yourself. This information will come handy when you explain to your child how the camera works. While teaching your child how to use the camera, keep in mind that you don’t overload them with information. Your child may lose interest altogether. Learning photography is meant to be an enjoyable journey for your child. Therefore it would help if you go slow and teach them one thing at a time.
Once your child has a grasp of the functions of the camera, you can teach them how to hold the camera and balance it correctly so they don’t drop it. Teach them the correct stance and posture they need to be in, to steady them and capture a sharp photograph. If your child finds it difficult to hold the camera steady, you can ask them to use the timer function. Or it would also be advisable to invest in a tripod.
III: Basic aspects of photography
There are many facets to any creative art. You can begin with the basics. Familiarize your child with some ground rules such as fill the frame and rule of thirds.
Light is an important aspect of photography. Explain to your child how different lighting conditions will have a different effect on the end result. Or you can have them chick a photograph of the same object under different lights or different times of the day so they can understand the difference.
The angle from where an object has been clicked, can either make it look very beautiful or very unsightly. You can ask your child to photograph an object from different angles so they understand the combination of how light and angles work in sync.
It will mean a lot to your child if you sit with them and go through all the shots they have captured. Praise them for the shots where they have done well. If you feel some photographs could have been clicked better, tell them so. Explain to them what they can to improve the results. Encourage them to learn allied skills such as editing photographs so they can enhance the quality of the image or remove background distractions.
Photography is a great way for you and your child to spend together and strengthen your bond. When you teach photography to your child, you may also learn a few new tricks to improve your own skill. Children have purity and innocence in their perspective. While teaching them photography, you will gain a fresh perspective too.
Photography helps your child be alert and aware of their surroundings. They learn to focus and their concentration improves as well. They learn to be present in the here and now. They won't be thinking about a game they played yesterday or about going to school tomorrow. All the distracting thoughts melt away.
Every time your child wants to click a photograph, they need to adjust the settings on the camera. This boosts their memory. Their cognitive skills improve remarkably when they visualize the shot before they capture it.
Learning photography provides your child with a creative outlet and they learn to express themselves. They get an opportunity to document their childhood which they can fondly look back on when they are older.
When learning photography outdoors, your child will learn to connect with nature. They will learn to appreciate nature at an early age and will grow up into adults who will take an effort to preserve nature. You will see that your child will also be able to find a better connect with your pets and other animals.
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