Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Give your kid a camera!

One day last summer my family had a photography contest. Each of us (except Dad--he was the judge) took a series of pictures at a nearby park. When we were done, I loaded the pictures onto the computer and each of us chose two to enter into our friendly little contest. Dad, the judge, chose one of my oldest daughter's close-ups as the winning photograph. But there was no award besides bragging rights.

What was the purpose of that venture?

The primary purpose was simply to have a little fun. It gave us something to do that we had never done before and was a fresh excuse to get the family out of the house and out into the summer sun. But it was also an opportunity for my kids to explore a creative art form--photography--in a relaxed, non-threatening way.

Giving your child a camera and letting them go a little crazy with it (Ah, the wonders of going digital!) is a fabulous way to encourage them to look a little closer at their world. Some kids might experiment with close-ups, like in my daughter's photo of a thistle blossom:

They might try looking at the world at a slightly different angle, like my other daughter's shot of Lake Superior:

Or they might find something of interest in something that most of us wouldn't look twice at, like my son did when he took this photo:

Do you see the bee?

Give your kid a camera, and you just might be surprised at what they see, and how they see it!

Other tips for sharing photography with your kids:

  • Look for photography at art shows and galleries. Talk about the photos with your kids. What do they like or dislike? What, in their view, makes a good photograph?
  • Sort through old photographs at antique stores (or in family albums--ha) and use it as an opportunity to talk about how photography has changed over the years.
  • Talk about the different ways photographers can earn a living.
  • Consider encouraging your child to enter a real photography contest. 
Some photography resources:


  1. I love to witness what *anyone*, old or young, chooses to see - these are great pics, all.