How to Teach Your Kids Photography (And Learn Something, Too)
Rating: 8 / 10One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Teaching photography to kids is a great way to master photography concepts and techniques because it forces you to review concepts and simplify explanations. Here are a few tips that will help you engage your kids in photography, while improving your own skills.
In my experience, one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Teaching photography to kids is a great way to master photography concepts and techniques because it forces you to review concepts and simplify explanations. Whether you are explaining lighting, composition, or depth of field, teaching is only going to strengthen your knowledge. Below are a few tips that will help you engage your kids in photography, while improving your own skills.
These children are reviewing their images on the back of a digital camera during a photo workshop I taught in Peru. It is easy to engage kids in photography using digital because they can instantly see the results.
Share a Hobby with Your Kids
My father taught me photography when I was 10 years old. Photography became a hobby that we could share and we structured almost all of our time together around taking pictures. We took our cameras to local parks, explored old barns near our home, and scouted the neighborhood for sunflower fields or bird nests. My father and I both benefited from our shared hobby - I learned a lot, I developed a relationship with my father, and he improved his photography because he practiced more often.
I made this image during a weekend photography trip with my father to Lake Mattemuskeet, North Carolina.
Learn from Fresh Eyes
I find that adult photographers often approach a subject with the goal of replicating a photo they have previously seen. Kids, in contrast, are blank slates. They come to a scene and compose with fresh eyes. Even if their results are not always award winning, you can learn a lot from this approach. Talk with your kids about their compositions and learn from their perspective.
These children are participating in a photo scavenger hunt in one of my workshops – they are photographing patterns in the water. The assignment was to look for repeating patterns in nature.
Go on a Photo Scavenger Hunt
If you have younger kids, create a list of photo goals for an outing with your cameras. For example, tell your children that you need to make a good picture of something blue, something alive, and something wet. You can search for the subjects together and challenge each other to make creative images. This technique will also force you to look at a local landscape (like your backyard) with a fresh perspective. Many photographers wait for the perfect subject before clicking the shutter button. Photo scavenger hunts force you to make random objects into great subjects.
In this image an older child is helping his younger sister with the digital camera during a photo workshop in Peru. If you have a big family, get everyone involved in the teaching and learning process.