With the summer holidays upon us I thought it would be a great time to talk about what a brilliant hobby photography can be for kids of all ages! Of course, I’d be passionate about more kids getting interested into photography but it really is a fantastic way to spend time.
What are the benefits of photography for kids?
Firstly, it’s inexpensive. You can use any camera you have lying around, or lend your kids your camera phone (if you trust them!). Or the cameras made specifically for kids are not hugely expensive and make amazing birthday or Christmas gifts.
Secondly, kids absolutely love it. All kids I’ve met have rushed to get their cameras out to show me when I turn up for photoshoots at their homes! Or they all want a turn with my camera when I’m taking photos of them on shoots.
Lastly, it’s a great activity for getting kids outdoors and away from screens. But similarly, you can set photo projects for indoors too so it’s not weather dependent and we all know we can’t really trust the British summers!
So how do you start?
Choosing a camera for your child
If you want a specific camera for your child then there are absolutely loads that you can find online. The ones made for kids are generally pretty hardy so they can be thrown around a fair bit with minimal risk of breakage.
Grayson has always been fascinated with cameras and photos so we bought him a child’s camera and the great thing about it was it had funny frames and faces you could add to the photos, however, truthfully, we found the quality of the photos poor. The shutter on it was also slow so the majority of the photos came out blurred. So, we ended up giving him a very old point and push camera that we had in a cupboard.
Here are some cameras that a lot of friends have bought for their kids and really enjoy. I’ve left Amazon links for ease but please try and support a local shop if you can!
The Vtech KidiZoom Video Studio HD camera is super fun with selfie function and green screen for making fun videos with different backgrounds. A massive hit with my friend’s two kids aged 3 and 6.
The Vtech Kidizoom Duo Camera is a great first camera that’s probably easier for smaller hands (you’ll probably have seen someone who owns this very popular model!)
How to make photography fun for kids
The most important thing is to let your kids have fun with photography so that they’ll keep enjoying it.
Absolutely I try and explain to Grayson the difference between using the camera zoom and moving his feet and the implications of doing both. And now he’s a bit older I’m trying to explain why he might want someone in the middle of a photo or off to one side (the rule of thirds to us adults!), when you might want to use a flash, or why it’s better for your subject to be facing a window rather than back to it and different bits and bobs like this. But it’s always while we’re having fun finding things to photograph rather than during a lesson.
I made these scavenger hunts for my mailing list VIPS during the first lockdown which kids of all ages enjoyed so try things like this with your kids and see what they can find.
Once they are really involved, they can start projects either over a day or longer projects across a holiday where they pick a theme and have to photograph a certain type of thing or take every photo in a certain way.
Make little albums of their photos
While it’s super hard, I’d encourage you not to edit their photos for them. (And I say this because it’s SO hard for me!)
Where we potentially see problems with focus and exposure, this is our children starting to express themselves through art and that’s incredible! Every photo they take is just them learning so gentle feedback is great if you think they can take it, but I never alter or crop Grayson’s photos. Firstly, when I look back, I want to remember that the photo was taken from his vantage point (usually low and looking up noses!) and secondly, I love seeing how much he’s changed how he takes photos already in such a short space of time.
Grayson took the above photos when he was 3 years old
Why not celebrate their creativity by making a little photo book of their art? There are loads of online or phone app companies that make inexpensive books of photos. Similarly, a lot of online printers will offer 50 free prints and you just pay postage. You can let them revel in their artistic creativity!
Grayson took the above photos when he was 4 years old
This is why I don’t edit his photos – look how much difference you can see in just a year in terms of how he can frame and focus a photo. I’m so amazed by him all the time and I can’t wait to see if his photos change more in another year (if he still wants to take them of course)!
Kids love photography
I firmly believe that photography is a great outlet for kids’ creativity so I’d highly recommend letting your kids play around with a camera phone or old camera if you have one.
I’d love to be able to help you out with this so if you need any more help drop me a line. Or if you think you’d like to up your own photo game a bit, you can check out my guide with 5 tips to take your photos from average to awesome.
Happy snapping! x