Three top tips to get your kids loving photography

As an Oldham family photographer, you can imagine, my two little ones love all things photography.  Whether I've my iPhone or one of two Canon cameras out, they both want to get involved, in front or behind the camera.  Consequently, I'm a little more careful with my Canons but when it comes to my iPhone, as long as we are on soft ground and there is no liquid around (Victoria put my husbands four months old iPhone down the loo when she was 13 months!) then I'm game.  Photography is a craft, a work of art and a creative skill that I want Joseph and Victoria to explore.  It's subjectivity negates the right or wrong that comes with so many things in life which makes it perfect for all children to explore.  So, if you want to explore photography with your kids, my three simple and super easy tips are a guaranteed winner.

1.  Find fifteen minutes to focus and explore

Kids don't need a whole lot of time to have a go at creating a few photos.  Concentration and focus for short periods will work best.  Pick a time when you have no chores to do and, if you have more than one child, a time when someone else can look after the other kids, as this really is best done one to one!  Take a few minutes to yourself to think about where would be good to take the photos.  Could a space in the garden work? How about their bedroom?  What types of things do you think they will want to take photos of?  For example, Joseph loves trains so setting up his track and favourite trains in his bedroom is a winner.  Next, grab your phone or camera and let them work through a few different compositions with you.  Talk about what you are both doing and how you can change elements, such as moving from portrait to landscape.  Keep it simple and easy.  Above all, make it fun. Understandably, you are likely to get a mix of quality photos to blurry ones to some that may genuinely surprise you!   This isn't about a perfect image but about them expressing themselves and experimenting.  Giving them the opportunity to do it for themselves, whatever the outcome, is what is important.  

A word of caution, if you are worried about your child using your phone or camera, consider letting them use an old phone or camera.  Ask friends and family if they have a spare one as you'll be surprised how many people say yes!

2.  Find fifteen minutes to experiment with filters

The beauty of photography can often be in the post editing.  Exploring the opportunities to "play" with their creations can be half the fun.  Ordinarily, this is something that can be done at any time too so you can wait for an appropriate time rather than cramming it in.  Whether you edit direct from your phones camera or try out one of the zillion apps there are available, your child will love it.  If it's applicable, take the time to talk through the impact of changes made to the mood and overall feel of the photo.  From cropping an image to creating a black and white version or adding text, the possibilities for transforming an image is endless.

3.  Print it!

Easier said than done, I know but just do it!  One of my biggest pet peeves is people who take great photos but leave them on their phone or camera! Go one step further and why not frame it too as a surprise?  Imagine their little face when they see it!  

I promise you that if you start to incorporate this into your everyday life, it makes a huge difference!  When I take a photo that Joseph likes, or he does, he now tells me which ones he wants me to print so that he can put them in his room.  Fantastic!  

Let me know how you go as I always love to hear form my readers....

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