Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fun Children's Photography Lesson {Photography Tips}

About a year and a half ago our son Stephen started showing an interest in photography. I would find him setting up various props to photograph all over the house. It was so cute!

His interest lasted for several months. So, I dusted off my old trusty back-up camera and decided to give him a little tutorial. If ever there was a teachable moment, I thought, this was it.

We started with the basics. I taught him how to properly hold and support a camera and how to look through the view finder:

He loved taking pictures of me and was so proud of himself!

I got in on the action as well and took a few of him. This one's my favorite!

I share these images with you today to encourage you that it's never too early to instill a love for photography in your child. Photography is a great tool for teaching your children how to see the world through creative eyes.

I did the project you see below with my children while they were 3 and 5 years old. We call it "Worm Alphabet". All you need is a camera (any camera will do), an adventurous spirit, and an open mind.

Take a walk with your children and keep your eyes peeled for objects that are shaped like the letters of the alphabet. My children love to look for little treasures while we are walking outside, so this was great fun for them.

The inspiration for this project came to me one day while Alden and I were outside getting the mail. Our sidewalk was covered with dead worms that had dried up in the shape of various letters. Alden was just learning how to write some of her letters and was super excited to discover a few of them on our pavement. We grabbed the camera and decided to hunt for as many different letters as we could find. Before long we were looking for letters in other places as well.

Take a look at what we found.

I turned our pictures into a collage. You could also make individual flash cards for each letter and use them in teaching younger children their alphabet. As they get older, they can use the cards to form simple words.

Sure, this little project can help you teach your children their alphabet, but there's a much bigger lesson I had in mind - a photography lesson. My goal was to teach Stephen and Alden how to keep their eyes open for the little details in their surroundings - a key element to story telling in photography.

By teaching them how to look for shapes in unexpected places, they learned to see that there is often more to something than first meets the eye. They learned that most things are worth a second look. We just have to take the time to make those discoveries.

There's a life lesson in there somewhere as well...

Are you ready to make your own discoveries?

Go for it! Grab your child and your camera and see what you can discover and create today! Just keep in mind, they will soon want to take pictures of everything. This little project really does instill an interest in photography. In no time at all, your camera and cell phone camera will be their new favorite toys.

That is, of course, if you can get them to turn off Angry Birds...

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