Teaching kids photography can increase their creativity and curiosity. However, you need to consider that teaching photography to children is not the same as teaching photography to grown-ups. This is because adults are already knowledgeable about what a good photo would look like.
On the other hand, kids are naturally expressive and curious. They don’t have the slightest idea of what it means to be creative. When it comes to teaching photography to children, it is less about following the rules. Essentially, it is more about permitting creativity to appear naturally.
If you want to teach your kids photography or you want to make your own photography classes for kids, then the following are some of the important lessons that you need to teach them about photography.
Taking Care of a Camera
When you buy a camera for your kids, it is already a lesson itself. Nevertheless, you also need to teach them how to take care of their camera. Kids should be told to avoid dropping their cameras as well as how to store them in a safe place when not in use. It would also be great if you can teach them how to use the lens cloth in wiping the front area of the camera. You could also explain to them the best way to charge the batteries and show them how to upload the photographs to a computer.
When holding a camera, you can’t just grab it and hold it in any way you like. Holding the camera with a proper grip can help in reducing any shake while permitting you to access the different controls of the camera.
Show the kids the proper way of holding the camera by placing their thumb at the back, their index finger on the shutter, and finally, they have to wrap their three remaining fingers around the camera grip. When it comes to larger cameras, the left hand should be placed under the lens so it can support its weight.
Another important tip is using a neck or wrist strap, which can be a big help in preventing an accidental drop of the camera.
In today’s strict academic approach, it is not unusual to find that the drawings and artworks of your kids are graded. When it comes to teaching kids photography, you have to take a different approach. You have to let the kids know that photography is all about knowing how to be creative and showing other people what you want them to see.
It is important that you encourage these kids to show their creativity even if it means that you have to break the rules. Reveal to them what you like about the photo. Also, rather than telling them what you don’t like about the photo, you need to make them realize the “what ifs.” For instance, what if you put the flower on the side rather than in the middle. Or what if you lay on the ground while taking a photo of the flower, rather than standing over it. Instead of criticizing their work, let them realize the possibilities.
Let Them Explore
A lot of photographers, regardless of their age, can quickly learn through experimentation. With the use of digital cameras, it’s very easy to try something new without worrying about the consequences. When kids learn by experimenting, they can quickly remember the information better compared to giving them verbal instruction alone.
By using digital cameras, you will not be wasting any film since you can quickly delete any image you want. It is best to try to encourage these kids to try different ways of taking a photo. For instance, you could give an object to these kids and let them explore with their camera by taking ten different photos of it.
If they are having a difficult time, then you could help them by giving them a variety of options. You could let them adjust the camera settings, let them move the object to a different location, or change the perspective.
When using digital cameras for practicing photography, little is wasted. Encourage the kids to keep on taking another shot so they can fix what they did not like about the previous shot. It is best to let these kids use cameras that are not too expensive or too complicated. Kids can use them for practicing anytime. They can also use them for taking pictures in places that can inspire them.
Choosing a Subject
One of the most essential and basic things in photography is the choice of subject. Most kids are aware that a photo requires a person or an object in it. Explain to them what is in the photograph. Let them know what is in the photograph that is the most important part of the photo. Make sure to familiarize them with the term “subject” and what it means. Ask them to take photos of the same subject in different ways.
Teach Them About Perspective
Photography can help you see things. The camera can help kids show others their perspective of the world. When teaching photography to kids, it is best to provide them with tips on perspective, especially if they are only taking photos at eye level.
Encourage these kids to shoot while standing on tiptoes or lying on the ground. Recommend that they should try taking photographs from another angle to change up their perspectives.
Let these kids know that using different angles is not the only way of adjusting the perspective. First of all, you need to teach them how to use the zoom on the camera to make the subject closer or farther away. Make sure that the kids know that another way of changing the perspective is to get closer or farther away from the subject. Aside from teaching them about zoom, you could also let them explore macro photography. Explain to them how to turn the macro mode on the camera. A good exercise would be asking them to take some shots up close.
An Eye for Detail
As a photographer, it is important that you have an eye for detail. Tell them to slow down before taking a photo. Double-check to see if the subject is not crooked or if the camera is held up straight. Check whether there are some distracting objects in the photograph that could be removed.
This is also the perfect time to teach these young photographers how to look for interferences in the background. Give them some recommendations on how to look for distractions that could be eliminated by adjusting the zoom and perspective and let them identify any awkward backgrounds, such as having a telephone pole growing out of the subject’s head in the shot.
Photographs Tell A Story
Go over your kid’s photos and let them tell a story about that particular photo. This activity can help your kids realize that photos can indeed tell a story, giving them more appreciation for the art of photography.
Focusing on the Subject
If it is the first time that you give a camera to your child, then they will likely be using the autofocus mode. When they start to develop a basic understanding of photography, teach them the single-point autofocus mode. This way, they can choose what the camera will focus on by using the arrow keys.
Let the kids practice by placing two objects on the table. One object is placed close to the camera while the other is placed farther away. Tell the kids to move the focal point on one of the objects then afterward on the other. Explain to them that they should refocus each time. This is a great way of teaching them that focus can vary, depending on the distance.
Composition of the Photo
Kids usually have the tendency to place everything in the middle of the photograph. On the other hand, there are also some kids who choose to place their subjects on the edge of the photo. As a result, the subject ends up being cut off. Teach kids about composition by giving them the choice to put the subject anywhere else in the photograph.
Give them an example by taking your own photos of the same object with various compositions. Another excellent activity for kids would be to let them use a picture frame without any glass or back. Tell them to frame any objects inside the house in various ways. This particular activity does not even require a camera. This is a good way of showing them how composition works in photography.
Prior to teaching them about exposure, it would be a good idea to teach them the different modes on the camera which are designed for different types of shoots. For action shots, let them use the sports mode and the macro mode that will be used for close-ups. Teach them how to change the modes on the camera, as well as the uses for each mode. This can be their foundation when they will start to learn about exposure.
For kids who have strong knowledge of basic photography concepts, they can quickly learn about exposure. When teaching about exposure, do it one aspect at a time. Going directly into the manual mode can be very overwhelming, even for grown-ups. As much as possible, try to use simpler language and let practice for maximum familiarization.
Teaching kids photography does not only provide them the skills to take good photos. It can also help them in showing their creativity and encouraging them to explore more. At the same time, these kids can also develop visual and critical thinking skills once they have grown up.
If you want to take stunning photos, then you can learn about the basics of photography at My Photo Lesson. For your inquiries, you can call us at 720-581-4461 or send us your message at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you soon!