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Introducing Children to Photography

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Photography, as a hobby, has a lot to offer to children. Read on to learn more about it.

Most children are fascinated by cameras. But, while we always try to make them pose for us, we are generally reluctant to trust them with a camera. The fact is, photography is an excellent hobby for children that can open up a whole new world for them.

Why Photography?

Like with most hobbies, taking up photography can actually benefit children in many ways.

  • It teaches them to be observant
  • It teaches them to be sensitive to their surroundings
  • It helps develop attentiveness to details
  • It encourages creativity and individuality

How to Introduce Your Child to Photography

The important thing to remember, while introducing photography to your child, is that it is essentially supposed to be fun. Rather than bombarding him with rules and theory, encourage him to start exploring the world through the lenses.

Here are some tips:

Gift him an appropriate camera

A professional SLR camera with an assortment of lenses and accessories is obviously not a good idea as your child's first camera—nor is one of those tacky disposable cameras that are sometimes advertised as 'ideal for children'. If you have an old camera with automatic options, it will do, or you can buy a new one. Later, if your child shows more promise, you could go in for a better model that offers more features.

A first camera for your child should:

  • Be small, light, and easy for your child to carry around
  • Be able to withstand rough handling
  • Have automatic settings
  • Preferably allow a basic zoom option
  • Be relatively easy to use
The digital age has revolutionised photography, making it more accessible and user-friendly. If you are not sure yet about your child's interest, investing in a digital camera will no doubt be somewhat of a gamble. However, it offers many advantages:
  • Your child can afford to experiment, as you do not have to pay for buying or processing the film.
  • Your child immediately gets to see the result, and take more pictures till he is satisfied.
  • He does not have to wait for the roll to get developed and processed by which time he has forgotten or lost interest in what he has clicked.
  • With a digital camera, it is easy to retain good pictures and delete the rest.

Teach your child to use the camera

Mastering the art and science of photography can involve learning a bewildering array of dos and don'ts. However, at this stage, your child really does not need to know these.

Start by teaching your child the correct way to hold the camera. This is not just important to enable your child to take good pictures, but also for the safety of the camera.

Help your child master the art of framing the scene he plans to click. Teach him to use the zoom function to its best advantage. Also, teach your child how to focus to ensure sharp details. Gradually, explain the role of light and how it affects the pictures he clicks.

Explain camera care

Make your child responsible for the camera he owns. Explain to your child the need to keep the camera turned off when not in use. Teach him not to touch the lenses and keep it covered when not in use. More complicated procedures such as loading or removing film (or downloading images if you are using digital) need not be taught until you are sure of his ability to do so independently.

Encourage creativity

With time, most children learn to take decent pictures. However, what is important is that you encourage your child to explore and experiment with his hobby. Motivate your child to look for interesting settings and situations. Allow him to try out newer angles or perspectives. Encourage him to look for and bring out the 'story' element in the pictures he clicks. Always applaud his efforts at experimentation, but be objective in your feedback.

Help him cultivate his hobby

Plan regular photography outings where your child can have the opportunity to shoot newer subjects. Have joint photography sessions: select a theme, and later compare your efforts.

Introduce your child to the finer points of photography by taking him to visit art galleries or museums where he can the view works of other photographers. Discuss the individual styles of these photographers and point out what makes a picture especially striking.

Your child may not necessarily grow up to become a great photographer. But the lessons he has learnt will be sure to help him throughout his life.

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Steve Hathaway.3 years ago
Photography is a great interest to share with your children.As a parent you have a unique opportunity to motivate your children in particular paths. Kids learn primarily from their parents The number one way to help kids be interested in photography is to make it available to them. Start with cameras that are easy.
Manish Rajput.3 years ago
Digital cameras are great for emailing pictures to friends and family as well as putting up some shots on a website or face book. Digital cameras are of great help as they give results immediately and this keeps interest longer. You are able to delete bad pictures and keep the good ones.
Rohit Gandhi.3 years ago
Photography is a great hobby for kids and it can be a lifelong passion. It is good for everyone at any age. It encourages creativity and builds confidence. The digital camera has made photography much more user-friendly. It allows kids to experiment with pictures without having to spend money.
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Do you think photography is a good hobby for children? Do you think it has any special lessons to teach your child? Would you buy a camera for your child?
Photography is an ideal hobby for kids. Not only do they learn something but parents get an idea of their children' s interests through the photos they click....
I disagree with this statement. For one it depends on the camera and the setting the person tries to use his camera in. Personally pro sumer cameras on manual settings will definitely let people learn...
You are absolutely right. I am a hobby photgrapher who learnt my art the hard way. When I was growing up, there were only manual cameras. You couldn' t afford to shoot unless you were sure of your set...
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