Photography Ideas And Tips For Kids

Photography ideas and tips for kids. Includes the basics of photography, including basic parts of the camera, lighting, focusing, visualizing, and practice does make perfect.

Kids of all ages seem to be naturally drawn to cameras. Even the youngest love the idea of picking up what appears to be a simple box, pressing a button or two, and receiving a permanent picture in return. Kids also do not seem to care that although they intended to take a picture of the family dog, all they really took was a picture of the bottom of his legs and the grass. Here follows a few tips to pass along to your budding photographers. I hope that when they are finished snapping away, some of their photos will be worthy of the family photo album!

The very first step in teaching a child how to take a picture should be a simple explanation of the camera itself. If a child knows what each part is and what it does, he or she will be better able to use it. The basic parts of a camera include the lens, viewfinders, shutter, flash, door where film is loaded, counter, the film itself, and in some basic models the film advance wheel and re-winder. Teach them how to load the film and how to unload. Show them how to read the number of pictures used and how many are left.

Once a child understands the basic parts and operation of each, they will be ready to start snapping pictures.

Explain that the camera should be held steady while in use. This includes the picture taker's hands and feet. If the photo taker is moving, the finished product will be blurry. They also risk taking a picture that will include only part of the intended photo.

What they see through the lens will be in the picture. This includes hair, fingers, thumb, camera strap, etc.

Explain to them that although we see in 3D, a camera only produces a flat image. While we may see the family dog, with the flower box behind him, what the photo may end up showing is the family dog sprouting petunias from the top of his head. If they will take a moment to visualize everything they are seeing in the lens, they will end up with much more focused pictures. (That is unless they are comedians at heart and wish the dog to have petunias growing from the top of his head!)

Show them how moving closer or farther away by just a few steps can alter dramatically what will be in the finished photo. Being too close will often produce a fuzzy photo, while being too far back may allow too many subjects, losing the intended subject all together.

Lighting is very important. Sun light should be behind the photographer. Even if they take a picture and they think they can see what they are taking a picture of, if the sun is in front of them, the finished photo will most likely be nothing more than a big sun blot. Lighting inside is just as important. Have them stand with lamps or overhead lighting behind them as much as possible. Make sure there is enough light, and if not, use a flash.

Shadows should also be noted. Keep subjects out of the shadows or they will end up with nothing more than a dark picture with unrecognizable objects.

Practice does make perfect, and a child who is told not to waste film will never learn. While film should not be just snapped away, if they are not given a chance to experiment, they will never learn to be photographers, not even the kind who produce all the important photos for the family album. Giving kids "╦ťhomework' of photos to take is an excellent way to teach them. Give them a camera and a few rolls of film and send them off into the backyard with an assignment to take photos of different objects, subjects, and views. After developing them, sit down and talk about what each photo was intended to portray and what the finished result was. With enough practice and interest, you may be able to hand over the family camera on the next vacation to your budding photographer, giving yourself that much more free time. At the same time, you will be giving your child something extra to keep them occupied, meaning you will not hear the dreaded, "I'm bored, there's nothing to do"!

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