Introducing your child to photography
Introducing your child to photography can be a great way to inspire independent thinking and creativity. The photographer's mind is one of imagination and curiosity – both natural attributes in any child. In this article, Aoife Concannon of D Studios Photography gives a few pointers on introducing your child to photography and encouraging further development in this field.
There is no need to spend money on an expensive camera for your child at this stage. Best to give them a second hand digital camera, which just has basic features (can be purchased very cheaply) or even an old film camera or disposable film camera. An old or cheap camera that you won’t need to worry too much about. The worst thing you can do is to get so wrapped up in how much the camera costs that you make your child feel anxious about using the camera.
If you trust kids with the equipment, teach them respect for it and consistently model proper use, they'll feel confident and the camera will be fine.
Avoid cameras designed specifically for children, as the optics are typically low quality, and the cameras have limited functionality.
Introducing the basics
Start simple. Show them how to hold the camera so a blurry finger won’t appear in every shot. Show them how to hold the camera with two hands, and instruct them how to gently depress the shutter button without moving the camera, as many children will jerk the camera when they stab the shutter button, thus resulting in blurred photos due to the camera movement.
Teach them to always use the camera's neck / wrist strap, as it'll help prevent the camera from being dropped.
Taking your children somewhere in the evening, or on a weekend is a great way to stimulate their photographic interest, as it can provide a range of interesting and new photo opportunities. Beaches, parks, the Zoo, historical sights...
Maybe bring them somewhere for a great sunrise/sunset. Set them off to explore their own environment – be it the back garden, their bedroom, their friends or pets.
You can also help encourage creativity by getting them to shoot from different angles, such as getting down low and shooting up, or getting up high and shooting down, as well as exploring other angles.
If your children run out of ideas, and don't know what to photograph, give them a theme, such as a colour or a specific subject to shoot.
Make sure to sit down with your children and talk about the photographs they’ve taken – it gives a great insight into their minds eye. If using a digital camera you can talk about which photos to keep, which to delete and why.
Provide feedback on the photos, and offer suggestions on improving composition, suggesting alternative viewpoints, etc. If you are using a film camera or disposable there can be great excitement collecting the photos and seeing the results.
Use the Photos
If going away on a holiday, get your children to take photos during the holiday, so they can create a holiday journal with the photos.
See how the professionals work!
Visiting a professional studio as a family can be a great experience for all. Not only is it an opportunity to get professional shots of the whole family together, but it will also give your child the chance to see a professional studio set-up including different lighting set-ups and the photographers own equipment.
DStudios Photography is a contemporary photography studio based in Dublin 2.
We would be delighted to welcome your family to our studio and talk to your child about the studio set-up and life as a photographer.
We offer a relaxed environment and a fresh approach; specilaising in capturing the individual spirit of each child and those unique family dynamics.
Check out www.dstudiosphotography.com or call us on 01 4789098.
Do you have a child who is into photography? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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