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10 Photography Projects for Kids

10 Photography Projects for Kids by Beryl Young via Click it Up a Notch

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I ask my 4 year old one day, just for fun.

Imagine my beaming smile when she exclaimed, “A camera lady, like mommy!” Just as I’ve watched my daughter grow into herself as a little girl, she’s watched me grow into my role as a photographer these last few years, and now wants to take part in the photo taking too.

10 photography projects for kids by Beryl Young via Click it Up a Notch

I may be the primary memory keeper for our family, but that doesn’t mean that I have to be the only one. Photography is a tool that can educate, inspire, and connect our entire family.

10 photography projects for kids by Beryl Young via Click it Up a Notch

Today, I’ve got 10 fun, educational, and play-based photography projects for kids. These projects will have you thinking a bit outside of the box, allow your creativity to flow, and get the whole family involved behind the lens. Some of these projects will put you in the driver’s seat, and others will allow your children to snap away. They may not all be activities that will pave the way to frame worthy, award winning shots, but they are sure to get you smiling and connecting more, using a tool you already love.

10 photography projects for kids by Beryl Young via Click it Up a Notch

10 Photography Projects for Kids

1. Guessing Game
Go out on a photo walk and take photos of objects, both ‘close up’ and ‘far away’. (This would be a great opportunity to play with a macro lens if you have one!) Pull up each of the close up images and see if your kids can guess what they are. Reveal the far away shot with the answer to see if they’re right.

2. Digital stories
Take your child’s favorite toys on an adventure! Allow your child to take the lead and come up with a fantastic plot, taking the toy around the house or out and about with you for the day. Write down the story as you go along. Compile the story digitally, or have it printed and snuggle up with your child to re-read it together.

10 photography projects for kids by Beryl Young via Click it Up a Notch

3. Collage Art
This is a great activity for all ages! Go to the craft store and get yourself a large cardboard/wood monogram letter, mod podge, one color of acrylic paint, and foam brushes. Print meaningful photos off on your home printer, cut to size, and mod podge them to the front of the letter (mod podge should be brushed both on the back and front of the photos). Allow the photos to dry. Paint acrylic paint on the back of the letter and then mod podge the entire letter a second time to seal. Hang the letter somewhere in your home, or give as a gift!

4. Cloning Magic
Your kids will get a kick out of this one! Set up your camera on a tripod. Take multiple shots of your child doing various activities in one location. I suggest no more than 4-5 poses to start. Once all the poses are captured, pull them into Adobe Photoshop or Elements. Layer two of the shots in one document, and erase away parts of the top layer to reveal a ‘clone’. Flatten and repeat. Do this until all of the clones make it into the image, then save.

10 photography projects for kids by Beryl Young via Click it Up a Notch

5. Time Lapse
This is one I really love to do with my iPhone because it’s so easy! (especially with iOS 8 since it’s now part of the camera App). But if you’re looking for a separate App, Lapse It or HyperLapse are good options too. Time Lapse videos are also an easy way that the whole family can be included in shots. Set up the camera on a tripod (or ask a willing partner to hold it), get a location framed out, and then play together with toys, stuffed animals, bikes, the dog, etc…

6. Letter or Word Hunt
Create your own photo art by taking a scavenger hunt for objects that look like letters in your town or community. You could search for each letter of the alphabet or simply try to create a word of your choosing, such as your name or an inspirational message.

10 photography projects for kids by Beryl Young via Click it Up a Notch

7. If I Were
Give your kids the opportunity to dive into some creative editing by transforming a photo into something totally unique. I absolutely love the site ‘PicMonkey’ to allow children to explore artistic expression using photos as a base. One of the fun activities I used to do with kids, during my elementary school teaching days, was have them turn a portrait of themselves into a famous American such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Kids could also use the program to make comic strips, transform their images into watercolor illustrations, or create their own greeting cards.

8. Day In The Life
Ordinary moments are often when I have the greatest difficulty picking up the camera, but they’re also the times I most want to capture too. I started a project to help hold me accountable, and aims to capture our ordinary days from start to finish. I set up a timer on my phone to ding every hour, for one day, and stop whatever it is we are all doing to snap a photo when it goes off. The kiddo loves the anticipation of waiting for that timer to go off and becomes a more willing participant in the photo taking, since it’s tied to a meaningful family project.

10 photography projects for kids by Beryl Young via Click it Up a Notch

9. POV Comparison
I find it compelling to watch how my children compose and frame shots. They haven’t developed a sense of perfectionism behind the lens, they snap away with ease, and they have a natural eye for composition. I like to go on photo walks with my daughter where we both take photos of the same thing: the same flower, tree, dog, bird, sky, etc. When we get home, it leads to rich conversations where we can compare and contrast our images together.

10. Return to Happy
A few months ago, I was finding that our afternoons were a disaster at home. We were cranky, bored, moody and just plain tired. So I came up with this simple gratitude challenge parents and kids can do together. In the moments were you notice your day is starting to go downhill, stop everything. Talk with your kids about what makes them happy and what is right in their world. Both you and the kids list out 5 ‘happy items’ and then grab a camera and find ways to photograph them. Instant mood changer.

10 photography projects for kids by Beryl Young via Click it Up a Notch

  • Sam
    October 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    What camera do you recommend for kids?

    • October 17, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      I wish I had one to recommend. We found a refurbished point and shoot for $30 at Adoroma.com for my 7 year old to use with me.

  • Kristina
    October 15, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Do you know of any photo contests for little kids? My 4-year-old loves to take my camera and has managed to capture some interesting shots.

    • October 17, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      I don’t, but I’ll keep an eye out for them. Often State Fairs will have a kids category.

  • Miki
    October 15, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    I recently got into photography and loving it! It’s been over a year since I bought my first dslr camera. In addition, I’ve been watching youtube videos and looking at pictures Pinterest to improve my skills. What shooting mode (aperture mode, shutter speed mode, etc), would you recommend for photographing children ages 3-7? And should I use AF or manual focus?

    • October 17, 2014 at 9:00 AM

      I think it depends on your child. How much do they want to learn? What mode do you feel comfortable teaching them? I would definitely do AF.

  • October 15, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    Wow! These idea are fab!!! Where were you when my kids were little???
    I doubt my teenagers will comply, but it’s definitely worth a try!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • NormaO
    October 15, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Thank you for sharing this ideas, you have made me teared up a bit with some of them, they are the right amount of motivation I needed to distract myself from hard times passing by in our lives. I particularly love the guessing game, cloning and a day in the life!

  • October 15, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Love it!!! I wish to have children someday.

  • October 16, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    My son, 6, asked if he could takes some pictures so I gave him one of our old Samsung point & shoots. He flips his sunglasses up on his head like I do. He has a lot of energy and so far has only showed interest in trucks so to have him outside with me focused and talking direction really well feels good.

  • Jacqueline
    October 16, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    These are great!!

  • December 4, 2014 at 5:47 AM

    Very good ideas! I will try them with my daughter

  • margie
    October 5, 2015 at 8:40 PM

    Great Ideas! I just started teaching a kids photography class & will definitely use some of these ideas! Thanks!

  • Beth
    October 20, 2015 at 5:26 AM

    These are great ive always got my camera stuck to me and my interest and love for it has rubbed off on my kids. My nearly 7 year old son is going to love these ideas!!

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