So now let’s see what we can do to give one of the best passions to our children ;
1. The Camera, Of course. What Camera to Choose
Camera manufacturers know that this is a market that has enough appeal to make an investment and provide consumers with a good catalog of opportunities.
Let’s review our photographic history again. In my more than 10-year hobby, I have a Canon Ixus 65, a Nikon D60, a Nikon D7000 and now a Nikon D750 go through.
Of course, the SLRs (the three Nikon brand) are cameras that offer excellent quality but are too complex for a child. The Ixus 65, however, is a compact camera, point and shoot, as the Anglo-Saxons say, and it turns out to be a fantastic camera – though 6 megapixels sound like prehistory today – and very simple, even for a girl 5 years.
So I’m sure we’ll ask the magicians to bring you a “equal” camera. Of course you should buy a new battery, maybe a larger memory card and a new case, so you can protect it well.
2. Your First Thoughts and Photo Concepts: Forget about Technical Issues
As soon as your child has his camera, the first thoughts will obviously happen because he learns to handle them. When it comes to a simple camera, many hints are not needed: how to zoom, how to focus, how to shoot, how to access recorded photos, how to switch between photo and video …
Once you know how to operate the camera, the next step will be to help you experiment and show your creativity . Someone who is learning, especially a child, it is not worth flooding with theoretical concepts, but it is better to give guidelines, or projects that encourage you to lose the fear of shooting .
Instead of saying to your child: “Come on, photograph whatever you want, you are free to do what you like with the camera”, it will always help more to have a more limited framework . Next, I leave you some ideas of “projects” that can help your son to let go with his camera:
- Make 5 photos of objects that make you happy (as in the picture above in which the child photographs one of his favorite toys)
- Take 10 pictures of flowers
- Get 5 pictures of each of the family members: mom, dad, a brother …
- Search and make 3 pictures of bugs you find on the street
- Photograph 3 objects that are moving and other 3 that are standing
- Go to the park and photograph an object of each color: one red, one green, another blue, another yellow
- Go out and make 5 pictures that show different shapes: circles, squares, triangles …
If you think that this does not work. Take the test, tell him one afternoon that you should take pictures of what he wants and, on the contrary, give him guidelines for the photographic “project” you want to create. You will see how he has a lot more fun in the second scenario, looks more motivated and even achieves better results.
3. Let Him Experiment. Do not bore him with rules and advice
In contrast to photographic learning for teenagers or seniors, a child does not need technical concepts – at least not during the first sessions -. So forget the rule of thirds, the look and the rest of the 13 basic rules of composition that you would recommend working with to start an adult.
Our big goal is to lose the fear of taking photographs and photographing. So let’s start by “crawling” and “running” before explaining how to place your feet, back, arms, and the rest of your body to become athletes. You understand what I mean by the comparison, right?
When you see that you are starting to request some information, or that you can assimilate some concepts, you are gradually introducing ideas about the strengths of photography, the horizon rule, or some basic aspects.
If, after telling it, you find that it does not meet the requirements, do not take this into account. There are three possibilities: you did not take it well, you want to experiment to break this rule, or that you be taken for a ride 🙂
4. Take Excursions / Photo Trips Together
Do you remember why I had begun to attract photography to my daughter, and perhaps to yours? Because he wants to spend time with his father and enjoy what he also enjoys .
What better way then for your son to learn photography than going out to take pictures with his father or mother ? Of course, organize an exit together, each with his camera ready.
Just as there are groups of amateur and professional photographers, you can apply this model to your little one. You will be able to kill two birds with one stone: you will enjoy the time with your son / daughter, you will let him learn and have fun taking pictures.
During the walk, you can choose one of the projects we first commented on. Vie, whoever manages to photograph a particular object, show each other’s photos, use them to learn new techniques or advice, and so on.
The goal of the exit is not that you go with each other or entertain your son while taking the opportunity to take some pictures that you would otherwise not be able to do but share the ride and enjoy the experience.
Being close to them and sharing those moments will also help you feel safer and freer to learn and experiment, strengthen your camera management, learn technical skills, and ultimately discover the magic of photography in the company of their parents.
And of course you not only make the camera full of photos, but also your head full of unforgettable memories in company.
5. Print Your Best Photographs, Or The Most Liked
In the digital times in which we find ourselves, each time less is printed. However, precisely this decrease in the number of prints makes the printing of photograph seven more special , do not you think?
The selection of the best photos of your child and his impression can be the boost he needs to help him gain confidence and progress in this new hobby for him. If it really is about spectacular photos and the resolution of the shot allows it, why not opt for a large format print ?
At least it happens to me, when I enter my house and see some of my photographs decorating walls or decorating furniture and rooms, I not only remember the people that appear in it and the places photographed, but also make me think about how much I enjoy photography . Why not look for this also for my daughter?
6 and 7 Two Things You Should NOT Do
After the 5 positive tips that I have given you, it is your turn to indicate a couple of things you should NOT do:
- DO NOT criticize and analyze in detail your photographs as if they were yours, or as if it were an adult. Your child is learning, so your photos do not have to be perfect at a compositional, technical, expository, etc. level. It is good that you make some comment, but always constructive and simple to assimilate on your part.
- DO NOT force him or push him to evolve . Let your child decide if you want to go a step further, learn something new, take more photos, etc. You should not be obtrusive, children have their times and their tastes. If what you want is that your son / daughter be a better photographer than you would have liked to be, you have not understood anything.
Remember, once again, that what we wanted is for our son / daughter to get closer, to know and to enjoy the photography. However, whoever does it or not depends on him / her. So we have to try that our attitude, at least, does not predispose him to hate photography.