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.