A few years ago my now five year old daughter showed an interest in taking photographs. Obviously as I love taking photographs I was keen to encourage this, but not with my camera! So Grandpa gave her a children’s digital camera for Christmas and we encouraged her to just take pictures and didn’t even think about learning suitable photography tips for children. She enjoyed the freedom and even joined me in starting Project 52 last year and completed the first two weeks (I created the template but she did the rest of the layout in Photoshop Elements, with just a bit of guidance).
Supplies from ScrapGirls
But she lost interest, the camera was hidden in the toy box and we didn’t change the batteries, so it didn’t work when she picked it up. Sometimes I just need a trigger to get me into action, and it was a combination of the KiaWalkToSchool photo scavenger hunt and the May Center Parcs challenge. B really enjoyed hunting out items on the way to school and taking pictures on my phone and when I saw the Center Parcs suggestion to “grab a disposable camera for your little ones to take their own pictures” I was reminded that she has her own and I just needed to recharge the batteries for her. B saw me with her camera and asked if she could do another photography scavenger hunt (also a suggestion on the Center Parc blog) so we created a list together (notice how she used the KiaWalkToSchool list for inspiration with colours and shapes although I don’t know what a proper shadow is).
Photography tips for children
I left her to take the photographs she wanted, but she was soon keen for me to be involved so I took the opportunity to provide some guidance on taking pictures. Obviously I’m not talking about camera settings because she has a fully automatic camera, but instead thinking about the picture before and after taking them so you get what you want.
The tips I covered were:
- stand so your shadow is not in the picture (unless it is meant to be)
- consider different positions
- check the picture after taking it and if it isn’t correct take another one
Digital Photography School has a great list of 13 photography tips for children and I’ll introduce some of these when I next have the opportunity, although I think I may start with staying still.
Results of the scavenger hunt
B had a great time hunting around the garden and photographed all the items herself including some items I didn’t expect such as the mulch for something new. The only picture I helped with was the glider as she couldn’t find it in the view finder.
Longevity of the photography tips
Has my daughter learnt the tips? I’ll hopefully find out today as she is currently on the beach, with Granny, Aunty and her brother, and was very keen to take her camera. I don’t have high expectations she’ll have remembered everything because she has been busy learning other things during the past week, and if I’m honest I find it very difficult to remember how to take good pictures (especially camera settings). I believe the key is to encourage her to take lots of pictures and talk about them with her so she can learn through repetition.
As well as photography, the garden has lost of opportunities to help children learn including English and Maths.
Do your children enjoy taking photographs? How do you encourage them? What are your photography tips for children?