Photography and kids go together like peanut butter and jelly. They are a natural fit; you just need to nurture it. Handing your kid a camera opens up the world to him or her. As early as two years old children understand that they are capturing a moment, even if it is just a shot of their nose. Here are a few kid photo tricks to get your budding shutterbug excited about capturing the world as you travel together.
Give them a camera
Hand over a camera--simple, and yet so hard for many parents to do. There are plenty of kid cameras on the market, but not all are great. Go for quality with a durable case whenever possible so the camera can grow with your child’s skill. When you are just getting your child started, hand him or her your phone (in a kid-proof case!), especially if you have an iPhone. Phones are easy for kids to use. The screen is large and they can shoot away from themselves, or turn the camera in and do a few self-portraits.
Don’t tell them what to do
Never tell your child that they are doing it wrong. Unless they are about to drop your phone or camera from a bridge, let your children use up all of your memory shooting videos of their nose and photos of their toes until they figure out where to point the camera. The first step is experimentation. After that comes the true art you were hoping for.
Shower your children with praise when they take a photo of their sibling, ice cream cone or toes in the sand. No image is insignificant when your child is the one taking the picture. Ask them to tell you more about it and why they shot from that angle. If there are a series of the same image, pick out your favorite one and go over the top as you tell them how incredible it is. Putting yourself out there as a photographer is a scary thing. Praise your kids now before they get too self-conscious to show you their masterpieces.
Point out cool stuff
Once your child has figured out how to work the camera you can give them a few pointers, but in a subtle way. As you walk through a cathedral, point up and remark on the rafters. Point out squirrels and public art in the park. You aren’t telling your child how or what to photograph. You are simply giving them more ideas of what and how they can capture a place.
Create a photo scavenger hunt
If your child is really into photography, you can create a photo scavenger hunt before you go on your next trip. Look at the websites of some of the major spots you will be visiting. Read up on some of the architectural elements that might be fun to photograph. You can also download photo scavenger hunts from multiple sites on the web. When in doubt, just write down colors and shapes you would like your child to find. By leaving it wide open to interpretation, you will be shocked by the images your child comes back with as they wrap up their hunt.
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