World Photo Day is a fantastic incentive to get any child into photography.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. While that didn’t really fly back in high school when we tried to submit a headshot of Shakespeare for an English essay—it really is true. World Photo Day is all about celebrating the expressive, enchanting and exhilarating medium of photography.
As explained on the event’s official website, the day is “an annual, worldwide celebration of the art, craft, science and history of photography.”
These days, with mobile phones, we have access to a camera twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. And we utilise this ease of access in so many ways: from the mundane (before-and-after pics of your brunch plate); to the functional (where you parked your car); to the sentimental (baby’s first faceplant).
But the art form of photography is so much more than any of that—and an invaluable one for kids. It can stimulate their creative, critical and cognitive sides, and World Photo Day is the ideal opportunity to get them started!
Lens me an ear
While the idea of introducing your kids to a camera (especially your small, accident-prone kids) may fill you and your wallet with fear, there are ways to do so without too much worry.
The best way to approach an education about photography is to do so gradually. Kids can generally only focus on one thing at a time and, the younger they are, the less detail they’re likely to retain. Start off small and then show them more as they grow up.
Time to focus
If you really want to teach something, then you’ll need to know the basics yourself. Kids are going to quickly fire questions at you, wanting to know why this does that and that does this. Obviously, the sophistication of the questions will be determined by your kids’ age, but it’s never too early to have the potential answers ready.
The best starting point to pass on is that photography is all about light. You can tell them about keywords like Aperture (the opening through which the light passes), Shutter Speed (how long the sensor sees the light) and Exposure (the amount of light that reaches the sensor).
Of course, there are countless free resources online for you and your kids to learn more. Here is just one of the many excellent options.
As soon as kids can grab onto things, one of the things they’ll grab will be your mobile phone. So, rather than just giving them a game to play or a Peppa Pig episode to watch for the hundredth time, why not let them experiment with the phone’s camera?
When they’re younger, the knowledge they gain is likely to be as simple as pressing the button equals a picture. But as they get older they’ll start learning to point the camera in a discernible direction. Hopefully, they’ll even start framing things deliberately into their shots.
However, the trade-off of this learning experience will be a gallery chock full photos of the floor, their own fingers, and indecipherable blurs that look like the end of a big night out. But their photography education will well and truly be off to a start!
When your kids start to grow, then the gear they’re using can start to advance with them. Point and shoot cameras are the next logical step in their education.
These cameras are simple enough to literally just “point and shoot”; but also come with a few more controls for someone keen to learn. They’re also more obviously a camera, as opposed to what’s integrated into a phone. They’ll enable a better understanding of the various functions, like the way the zoom button directs the lens.
When they’re at an age of increased dexterity, you can introduce them to more advanced options like a DSLR.
These sorts of cameras provide far more control, like the ability to manipulate focus, exposure and white balance; and offer advanced capabilities such as blurring backgrounds, varying shutter speed for special effects, and shooting in particularly low light.
And, of course, if you want to truly personalise their new hobby, one of our bags will fit and protect their gear in the cutest way possible!
A flash course
And if your kids are really getting a passion for photography, then it might be worth considering some formal instruction. Short courses are available through technical colleges—or their school may offer some subjects or extra-curricular activities.
The most important thing to remember is that, with photography, the best way to learn is by doing. The advantage of the digital age is that trial and error is only limited by the size of a memory card.
World Photo Day is about celebrating the art of the happy snap—so we wish you happy snapping!
To celebrate World Photo Day, we’d love to see some of your child’s best pictures in the comment section below!