Learning Photography Together with Your Child


Photo by Mike Browne

Photography had grown into one of the most practiced and accessible activities. However, it is still argued whether it should be called a new established art, or remain just a hobby. Doing photography might seem an easy process, yet, it is important to understand how it works in order to create something valuable.

The photography art tools have evolved from film camera to digital camera, counting many accompanying features like camera controls, filters, the variability of pixels, etc. In the last 10 years photography has progressed, making the process of taking and sharing photos more accessible. 

As the last century had proved, photography is turning into a way of communication, making it fast and efficient. It is one of the ways to talk with the whole world, posting photos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. This way, sharing photos has taken large proportions, turning into much more than just keeping the memories of the certain moments in a person’s life.

The best way to introduce your child to the photography is to show the world through the lense of a camera. You can interest your child, showing the beauty of a “frozen moment” be it a colorful flower, an unusual view of a river or the clouds in the sky. Learn together about general steps in taking pictures and in handling the camera. That is the best way not only to refresh your knowledge in photography, but also to motivate your child, showing your interest for this occupation.

You can show your child how to catch the special moments in his life on the digital device, rendering it as a picture. Getting a few basic tips on artistic exposure would turn ordinary shots into pieces of art. This would be a great way to engage your children into doing something exciting, developing their artistic culture and sense of beauty.

Thus, in order to get into this atmosphere of photography, we would recommend taking into account some advice for you and your child to follow, while learning to handle the art of photography.

  1. Decide on the camera you want to use for taking pictures. There is a large range of cameras: professional, simple digital, or the one in your mobile device. Since your child would experiment with the first hundreds shots, take into consideration that this camera will be carried anytime, everywhere. A perfect option for the beginning would be single-use cameras, cheap and fitting for your children’s testing period.
  2. Organize photo walks together in the parks, taking pictures of people, animals, nature, objects, and everything that gets your child’s attention. Take turns with your child, and teach by showing rather than indicating what to do. Be open to experiments, children are often considered to be more intuitively artistic than adults.
  3. Try to make stories out of photos that you are taking together with your child. Encourage your child to use imagination while photographing people or nature. Give an example, telling a story yourself, adding some fictional details. A story with photos as a visual support would make this hobby exciting and unusual. Children would love to make these stories up, turning this into a wonderful experience.
  4. Check for interesting photos with topics like sunset, flowers, animals, so that you could recreate them with your child. Find paper based photos, in magazines or printed photos, using the direct visual and kinesthetic approaches that would enhance your child’s emotions, making him want to do the same.
  5. Try to use and show simple camera settings to your child: the focus, the far – close controls, the lens, etc. Show your child the result after using these settings. Explain one difference at a time, so that you don’t overwhelm your child with the variety of options.
  6. Review all the taken photos together at home, preferably on the big screen and learn to select photos that have a meaning for both you and your child. Be ready for the fact that at least a third of the photos taken will not satisfy your child’s expectations, so be patient and delicate with your child’s works and decisions.
  7. Print some of the photos and give them as presents to friends and relatives, deciding with your child what goes where. Keep a few best shots at home, hanging them on the wall or placing in the frames on the tables. This will show that his artistic experiments are important for the whole family.

Practicing this activity together might emerge from a few weeks’ experiment into a time lasting hobby or even a profession. Your child’s curiosity may deepen into a far-going passion, especially now when online courses, professional literature, magazines and classes on photography are available; and a camera with auxiliary tools is perceived as an ordinary thing to have. And even if your child will never become a professional photographer, he will learn to feel the magic of a passing moment caught by the lens of the camera.

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