with Courtney Slazinik
Photography for Kids: Activities They Can Do!
Photography for Kids: Activities They Can Do!

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.

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!

Stuffed animal sitting under child's feet. Photography for kids is a fun activity for all.

Read more: How to get started teaching kids about photography

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!

Starts with…

Ask them to find objects that start with a certain letter and photograph them. Make your way through the alphabet if you have time!

Their name

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. 

Family tree

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. 

Child wearing pink sunglasses, pink shirt, and holding a pink camera in front of a white wall. Photography for kids is easier than you might think.

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.

Limb chops

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. 

Leading lines

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.

Child holding phone taking a picture. photography for kids.

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.

Negative space

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.

Child laying on white carpet with feet up in front of the fireplace. Using negative space.

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.

Low light

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.

Window light

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.

Child in front of window holding green camera printing off a polaroid. Showing photography for kids.

Activity ideas for kids photography: Ages 10+

Skill building

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.

Story time

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.

Scavenger hunt

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

Child in yellow dress holding a pink camera. Taking a photograph of a doll in a blue dress. Photography for kids example.

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?

Are you ready to capture those everyday moments and turn them into lasting memories? Take our 30 day challenge TODAY!

What are some photography activities you have done with your children?

  • July 17, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    I love this idea, especially now that my little guy has a camera of his own!

  • July 17, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Good luck with your move, I hope everything will go as smooth as possible!!

  • July 18, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    I really like these ideas. I think they will make a fun week of activities for my kids before we start back to school!

  • July 25, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    What fantastic ideas! Both my older children have cameras of their own and have asked me to help them learn, now I have some great activities. Thank you!

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  • July 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Awesome ideas!! Love the one about writing a story to go along with the picture. Makes each picture so much more meaningful.

  • July 31, 2012 at 6:43 AM

    My grandchildren love the scavenger hunt photo shoots. I always try and get them to be creative. This last time one of the things was glasses so my youngest 7 yr old made glasses out of rocks and sticks! They also had fun with a Barbie photo shoot- they posed them in different positions, changed their clothes and added other Barbies to make groups. It was a great way to get practice and their subjects never complained about changing clothes or getting hot!!

    • Courtney
      August 8, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      Love the idea of them photographing their Barbie! So clever!!! And love the willing model :O)

  • Hollie
    June 8, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Thank you so much for this idea! I have been wanting to do this with my 3 and eight year olds but had no idea where to start!

    • Courtney Slazinik
      June 10, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      Awesome! Hope you all have fun doing these activities!

  • September 22, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Hi Courtney,

    These are all very great techniques. I used some of them while teaching my own course on Kids Photography. Please feel free to share with your followers a special $10 off coupon with the coupon code ‘courtneysdeal’ or clicking this direct link: https://www.udemy.com/photography-for-kids-online-course/?couponCode=courtneysdeal

    Thanks for all your support and your great work!

  • February 11, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Wow! Had I learned the composition rules and the basics about lighting before the age of 10, as you recommend it, I probably would have evolved much faster in becoming a skilled photographer (while I liked to take travel photos, I had to learn the basic composition criteria while taking my professional certificate as a photographer before realizing what I did wrong and what I could do to improve my shots). Knowing these at a young age makes you have more time to practice and take advantage of every occasion you encounter for taking beautiful photos.

  • March 16, 2014 at 12:22 AM
  • March 16, 2014 at 1:49 AM

    my daughter photographs one thing a week that makes her happy and we plan on making a little book for her out of them.

  • March 19, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    These are great ideas, thanks for sharing. They will be so helpful with the career day presentation for my daughter’s classroom.

  • March 20, 2014 at 3:32 AM

    These are such great tips! Thank you so much- I will definitely use this with my daughter!

  • jim burns
    October 30, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Just started teaching photography to K – 5th graders…. these are some great ideas!
    Please keep them coming!

  • tzoutzou
    November 16, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    can you suggest some gear for the new born photographers ?

  • Silvina
    April 12, 2015 at 8:03 PM

    Love this ideas! now I need 3 cameras for my 3 girls… difficult! mmm

  • Suzanne
    April 28, 2015 at 7:19 PM

    Thanks for this great information. My 11 year-old daughter needs to present information to her Girl Scout troop so they can work on their Digital Photography badge and your tips and examples are wonderful! The activities you suggest will be a great addition, too. TY!

  • Prism13
    January 15, 2016 at 12:20 PM

    Why is there no ages 11-16?

  • F.G.
    April 25, 2016 at 3:57 PM

    I have a problem with the child proof toy cameras like the one shown in the picture: the shutter speed is so slow that it’s really hard (in my experience) for a 3 year old to old to hold the camera steady enough to take a recognizable picture, and also the screen is so small they can’t really see the picture they took.

    I suggest trying an old iPhone or iPod touch (with a sturdy case probably). The camera is much more forgiving to the unsteady hand of my 4 year old, and its much easier for her to look at the picture she just took. But one problem is that it can be hard for them to hold the phone and press the shutter without having fingers in front of the lens, but I’m wondering if some better case would help.
    And I also don’t like to expose young kids to iphone/ipod/ipod in general. For that, I suggest locking the phone/ipod with a passcode: the camera is still accessible from the lock screen, but at least they won’t watch youtube.

    I wish a toy company comes up with an hybrid kid camera with a large touchscreen that is easy to hold so I can get the best of both world.

  • Baby Photography Adelaide
    April 30, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    For a photographer kids photography is fun but also very challenging because you don’t know what kids really want to do.For asucessfulkids photography session you have to friendly with kids togive them a comfort zone.
    Baby Photography Adelaide

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  • Danny
    October 1, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    Thanks for this article,
    all pictures are toy camera pics, I wonder if you could recommend a digital or instant camera for a 10 year old kid

  • Megs
    November 26, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Love all these ideas! Just wondering, what has been the solution for printing pics out. An “instant” photo camera would be ideal for my 6 yr olds but it works out to be SO expensive!!!! What does everyone else do?

  • Rajat Rao
    April 5, 2017 at 3:31 PM

    Thanks for the article Courtney, I was asked to teach basic photography to kids from 6 – 10 years of age. To be honest, I was clueless about how to go about it. After reading this article, I get a fair idea on how to go about it as it is quite challenging to teach photography to very young kids. Moreover, the list of activities you provided will help me in getting the necessary confidence to give the children a taste of photography.

    I really owe one to you since I am not married and I do not know how a young mind works, specially when it comes to photography. Thanks a ton for the article. I am sure to trouble you in case I have some questions in mind regarding the same matter.

  • Angela
    June 15, 2017 at 10:14 PM

    This is such a great idea! My kids would love to do this too. My daughter would love to take pictures of here babysister.

  • Hannah Cortez
    June 26, 2017 at 6:27 PM

    This is a great idea for kids! I want to do it to #gialsz

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  • Lourdes Minaya
    June 30, 2018 at 2:13 PM

    My daughter is going to her grandparents’ to spend 2 weeks with her brother and sister and cousins. I wish I had this in a book format she could take with her. Just throwing out an idea here, but if you ever compile a book I would totally purchase it!!!

  • Ellie Write
    April 11, 2019 at 7:34 AM

    Great article, it was very helpful! I just started in this and I’m getting to know it better! Cheers, keep up the good work! Photography for kids

  • Jeanne Gogolski
    July 8, 2019 at 3:59 PM

    May I share this great post with others through the National 4H website? They have a photography book series and they are also looking for great ideas to share with others.

    • Courtney Slazinik
      July 8, 2019 at 4:26 PM

      Yes, feel free :)

  • Isabel Sweet
    November 18, 2019 at 1:35 PM

    I love these ideas! As a fun game, I give kiddos an iphone to take photos with me during family photoshoots (it helps them get more comfortable with the camera and with me). These games and tips will come in handy… especially with the little ones around 5.

  • Loretta H
    August 7, 2021 at 7:28 PM

    My 12 year old granddaughter is interested in photography so these ideas are perfect timing for me. We will be camping together this weekend and I’m going to try some of this. Thanks for the ideas.

  • Olga
    February 14, 2022 at 12:54 PM

    This is EXCELLENT !! Thank you for sharing.

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