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How To Teach Children Photography: The Best Ways To Start

Feb 25, 2021

children with camera in the fields learning photography

How To Teach Children Photography: The Best Ways To Start

Yes we are heading into yet another 9 weeks of ever-dreaded lockdown. If you are a parent, you know how challenging it can be to find ways to entertain kids at home. In this article I will give you some fun tips on how to turn a simple photography session into a creative and educational process.

children with camera in a field practicing their photography skills

You won’t need expensive photo gear- your phone or a cheap point and shoot camera is more than enough.

Photography for children : Ages 5-10

We all know that kids have an eye for capturing the beauty in the world around them. Even though at this age you probably won’t teach them as many skills you can familiarize them with basic camera and suggest different photography projects they can do. Below are a few ideas but firstly I would ask to think about it themselves. It is a good exercise and a way for you to learn one more thing about your kid’s inner world.

It is a project so treat it as a small journey that has a starting point and the end point, based on some kind of plan… talk about it with your child. Be clear about what the project is about and how you are going to get there. Don’t forget that it’s a great opportunity for your kid to be part of a process (with a few stages and which takes a longer time to finish) rather than be involved in a short, one time, act.

girl with camera outdoors

-Learn the colours

Have your child to walk around the house or outdoor and find things of a certain colour and take photos of them.

-Letters

If your child is learning to read or write this project will be of interest. Ask them to find and photograph objects that start with certain letters.

-Their name

Ask them to find and capture objects that start with letters of their name, or they could look for things that look like letters to make their name.

-Shoot and compare

Agree with your child on 5 objects you’d like to photograph. Then, both your and him(her) will take pictures. Then, compare your photos, discuss differences in light, composition, sharpness and any other interesting aspect.

-A Day in Life

Ask your child to document one full day from wake up to bed time. One photo every hour (you might need to be a reminder). The next day, go through the photos with your little one. It would be very interesting for them to review it in such a systematic way, be reminded of yesterday’s events and discuss it with you. Another alternative in this “A Day in Life” idea is to document you, their brother or sister, their pet, etc., rather than documenting themselves.

Give your feedback along the way.

After every project discuss the results of your their art with them. And when I say feedback I mean sentences like: “see how the light comes in through this angle”, etc., and not just: “oh, this is beautiful”, “I like this!”, and so on. This is the most beneficial way to improve your child’s photography skills.

Photography for children : Ages 10+

At this age you can teach them even more about photography. Start with some basics in composition. Composition is a must-have skill for your child from this point on. Teaching them how to “frame” their photo will help to tell an interesting story and capture a more artistic, appealing image. Observing what the world looks like from a child’s perspective will help your kid see different ways to capture and tell a story with their photos.

-Rule of thirds

This is the most important compositional guide used by artists and photographers for centuries. Simply have them view their scene as if a tic-tac-toe board was over it. Place the subject on one of the intersecting lines.

children photography aid: rule of thirds

-Leading lines

Look for lines that will guide the viewers eye through the frame and lead them to the subject.

leading lines of rail track help to focus on children photography subject

-Negative space

Another powerful tool to add a bit of drama to your subject. Leave a lot of empty space around your subject to make it pop.

negative space in child photography

-Fill the frame

Don’t be afraid to come close and fill the entire frame with interesting subjectPhotography is all about light. Get your child to think and analyze the lighting in the scene.

-Window light

This is the most popular type of natural light, knowing how to position your subject using window light can help create depth and dimensions with shadows.

window light as a tool for better children photography

-Low light

Learning to see low light and understanding how to use it in your photos allows your child to play with all different types of light.

Summary:

Photography is a pretty cool hobby to pick up once youโ€™re a little older, and it can teach you a lot of things about how the world works. This guide is all about getting your kids started in photography and giving them something creative to do while also helping them learn about the world. Did you find this guide helpful? Do you have any questions? I will be glad to help:)

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