Encouraging Budding Shutterbugs

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In addition to soccer camp, t-ball and swimming, this summer my 7-year-old will be enrolled in a photo workshop for kids. The opportunity presented itself last month and I jumped at the chance to sign-up. Fortunately, my daughter is as excited about the workshop as I am. She loves to take pictures and having someone other than mom giving her instructions on how to snap frame worthy shots is a golden moment in my book.

This is not to say that parents make bad teachers. Rather, in many cases, having an expert in the field of photography work with a child helps reinforce lessons mom and dad may have already touched on. I got my daughter into picture-taking at a very young age, but I wouldn’t have pushed the hobby unless she showed serious interest. When she was just a toddler I would point out different parts of the camera and explained how each functioned. As she got older I taught her how to hold the camera properly and allowed her to experiment with several features, such as the zoom lens. Finally, when she was four years old, I purchased her first camera. Granted, it was a kids’ version, but it accomplished what I wanted it to—-encouraging my child’s passion for photography.

Unless your child is older or is really into photography, then I would suggest holding off on overwhelming her with a lot of technical jargon. Instead, teach your kids the basics and let them experiment on their own. If you don’t want to invest in a traditional camera for your child, consider giving her a disposable one and allowing her to head outside to snap interesting subjects. The key is to encourage creativity. You can inspire this by giving kids fun and easy photo assignments. For example, you could design a scavenger hunt-type list of things to photograph, such as a dog, tree, flower or a car. The main objective is to foster a love of picture-taking.

Related Articles:

Digital Cameras for Kids

An Indestructible Camera

A Digital Camera for Serious Shooters

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.