Photography isn’t just a hobby that only adults can pick up. Even more so now with cameras being built into phones, laptops, tablets its easier than ever to have access to a photo-capturing device. How to get kids into photography is easy and an experience for parents/grandparents to share in.
This opens up the opportunity for the next generation of photographers to begin without it being expensive.
Wouldn’t we all love a photo buddy? Someone that you can chat about pictures with and no bore to tears? I know I would.
It’s great having photography clubs and online groups but having someone in your family you can regularly team up with or teach is a really warming experience.
There probably is an optimum age to start teaching your kids photography. I think 7 years and upwards is a good place. Kids at that age will be able to handle a camera phone point it in a set direction and somewhat keep it straight (somewhat). If your kids are younger, but you still think they can manage, still give it a try.
Either way, its not just holding the camera straight as you know you need to teach them what takes a good photo.
No child wants to sit and listen to any adult explain rule of thirds, depth of field and digital noise, do they? So don’t bother.
All you need to do is get them excited to create. It doesn’t matter about the image quality initially you just got to get them psyched for joining in.
Give them a phone or even a compact camera you don’t mind being knocked around, or maybe dropped. It’s good to give them a camera of their own rather than sharing your kit that you’ll be cautious about using.
They need a sense of freedom without restrictions and you shadowing them making sure they don’t press the wrong thing.
Spend some time getting the kids into photography by shooting together. Take shots on your own camera but of the same subject and compare the photos. Set up something fun to shoot; a few Lego figures, flowers in the garden or go for a walk in the woods.
Point out to them subjects you know look interesting and would make an interesting picture. Take the lead and show them what you’re shooting and ask them to have a go.
Then go a little crazy and play around with the angles. Kids love getting dirty so hit the ground and take some low-level shots for fun. If they can associate fun with taking pictures it’ll become more appealing to them.
The fun doesn’t stop there, especially if they’re shooting on a phone. Download a simple and safe child-friendly photo editing app like Snapseed, VSCO or Prisma and open them to the world of editing.
If you can show them different effects which are easy to apply they’ll get really engaged in the multiple options available.
Create an album of all their creations and add to it regularly. You never know where these initial sparks of interest may lead and it’s lovely to have memories of these early steps.
Why not make some plans to go out for the day to take some photos – like a little adventure.
This is when you can be spending some time with your camera too and not worry about the kids getting bored and everyone’s waiting for you to finish.
If you need a little more inspiration, I’ve got 3 ideas for kids to take photos of that you could start off with to get your kids or grandkids into photography.
This is simple, get yourself a torch and cast some creative shadowy shapes on the wall at bedtime giving the kids something to shoot.
Get down to the shops and pick up fresh fruit and veg. Chop them up and arrange them to look like animals or flowers. Have a look at our iPhotography Home Projects course where I create lots of different flat lays using food.
If you’re willing to get a little messy then set up the camera in the bathroom and try dropping objects into the water, it’s a good chance to talk about shutter speed (if you think your child is old enough to understand).
Show them on your camera the effects of using a slow and fast shutter speed to help them understand the differences visually.
Ultimately remember with trying to get kids into photography is not about what they produce at a young age but more so that they enjoy the experience.
If they can look at the camera and know it’s fun to play with and it does cool things that’s what you want. If you become too controlling and cautious over what they take and try to make it too perfect at the start it can bore them.