One of my friends wants to give her son a project and thought a photography one would be fun! I love this idea and wanted to give you some ideas to do photography for kids.
Use what you can to get your child started on their photography journey.
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Photography for Kids: Ages 5-10
You may not be able to teach them as many photography skills at this age but you can familiarize them with a camera and give them different activities they can have fun doing.
Start teaching them the basics like how to hold the camera. How to press the shutter button. You can also show them how to view their photos to make sure they captured what they wanted to capture.
Kids this age can understand different types of cameras as well. Show them a DSLR, polaroids, a point and shoot, and don’t forget about the camera we all have in our back pockets, your cell phone!
Photography for kids can start pretty early on in a child’s life. The skill and hobby can really develop over the years.
Don’t forget kids learn through play, let them PLAY!
Activity ideas for kids photography: Ages 5-10
Learn their colors
Have the child walk around the house or outside and look for things of a certain color and photograph them.
They will start to notice color patterns everywhere and that is really fun!
Ask them to find objects that start with a certain letter and photograph them. Make your way through the alphabet if you have time!
They could either find objects that start with the letters in their name or they could look for things that look like letters to make their name.
Take it to the next level by creating their name and printing it off to hang in their room! This is a great way to boost their confidence in photography.
My favorite things
Ask the child to take a photograph of their five favorite things. Favorite color, food, friend, toy, activity, etc.
You can take this one step further by letting them create a slideshow to show friends and family.
Have the child take some portraits of their family, don’t forget the pets! You can have them take a photograph of anyone in their family, immediate or extended.
Then create a tree on paper or the computer and make their own special family tree.
Photography for Kids: Ages 10+
Start with composition
You can teach this age range even more about photography. Start with some basics in composition.
Teaching your child how to add variety to their photo with composition will help them tell a better story with their photos.
Rule of thirds
This basic compositional guide of rule of thirds that has been used by artist and photographers alike for many years. Simply have them view their scene as if a tic-tac-toe board was over it. Place the subject on one of the intersecting lines.
Draw it out on another photo to help them have a visual. Let them practice drawing it too.
This is an important skill to know when photographing people or animals. In short, don’t crop your subject if the joint bends.
Start by making making sure they include the whole body in a single shot. After they have that down, have the child show you where each joint bends.
Then remind them NOT to crop the subject there. Limb chopping is a very common mistake but easily avoidable if they practice.
This is one of my favorites and a more advanced technique. Look for lines that will guide the viewers eye through the frame and lead them to the subject.
You will find lines on sidewalks, on buildings, even using an arm can be a leading line.
Go on a walk with them and find 3 examples of lines. Have them photograph those as leading lines.
Fill the frame
If you have an interesting subject, don’t be afraid to fill the entire frame with it. Try to photograph bicycle wheel, a flower, or a fun pattern!
Sometimes up close and personal can make a photograph very unique.
Another powerful composition technique is to add negative space. You can do this by leaving empty space in the photograph so the subject really stands out. This can create a dramatic look and will make the subject pop.
You can tackle lighting as well.
Since lighting is such a main component to photography, it is important for children to learn how to utilize it.
This is extremely important to understand when it comes to lighting as adding catchlights can give your subject such a sparkle to their eye.
Practice by standing in front of a window and have them take photographs of you looking in different directions and using different angles. This will help show an example of catch lights.
Backlighting is achieved by placing the main source of light behind the subject. It can be best achieved during golden hour.
By learning to use backlighting can add a nice glow and warmth to your kid’s photos.
Go out for a walk a hour or so before the sunset. Find a nice warm light and place the subject in front of it facing the camera not the light. This will help them practice backlighting.
Often times we are inside without a lot of natural light. Learning to see low light and understanding how to use it in your photos allows your child to play with all different types of light.
This is also a chance to teach when might be a better time for a photograph. If the light is too low and you can’t quite capture what you want, try another time.
The most popular type of natural light. Sometimes window light can create nice soft lighting. Other times it is very bright and harsh.
Knowing what kind of light you have available and how to position your subject using window light can help create depth and dimensions with shadows.
Play with creating big shadows for dramatic lighting in a photograph.
Activity ideas for kids photography: Ages 10+
Before you give them an activity you can have them practice the skills you want them to learn.
If you want to focus on composition, have them read the above posts.
They can choose one skill a day.
Ask them to create 3-5 images displaying that composition guide.
Have them take a photograph of anything and write a story about it.
It could be of children at the park. Name the children and create a story behind them.
This will help their language arts skills as well as their creativity.
Create a list of 20 items they need to find in the house or in the yard.
Hand over the camera and have them photograph the options as they find them.
Be sure to throw in something of a challenge.
Have them photograph something that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
Take it to the next level and have them create a slideshow or print them off and showcase their work.
Create a blog
You could give them their own corner of the internet. Feel free to keep their blog private for only family to view if you choose.
They can post their images, add captions, and record what they are learning.
If you’re not sure how to start a blog, we have just the resource here for you: How to Start a Photography Blog
Feel free to take their photos and stories and compile them in a digital photo album for them. How excited would they be to have their own book of their own images!
Why stop there? Why not take on your own photography activity?
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