How to Teach Kids to Use a Camera and Use Digital Photography

selective focus photography of boy holding gray Minolta bridge camera

There are many ways to expose children to photography. This will be most beneficial to them as they grow up and enter the world of digital photography and digital media.

By the time they reach high school, they will need to know these technical skills to keep up and move ahead of the pack.

This is one area that kids will love to learn. Take a weekend or a holiday break and take on photography. Here are some tips to get you and your children started. If you feel you are novice in the area, take heart!

Everyone starts as a novice. Use it as a chance to learn something valuable together. Chances are, you can teach one another, because modern kids are quick studies these days when it comes to technology.

Start Out the Easy, Old Fashioned Way with a Disposable Camera

girl taking a picture using instant camera

If your child has no photography skills, everyone has to get started somewhere. Buy waterproof disposable cameras. Even the youngest of children can get exposure to photography with one of these cameras.

You do not have to go to an exotic location. Just head out into the backyard, onto your street, or the playground located a block down the road.

Encourage your child to photograph what interests them. If they take ten pictures of the playground slide, then so be it. Do not tell your child what to photograph, for you want them to develop their own eye and their own perspective.

Assist instead with any questions about the basic camera itself. You could indicate that they could take close-up shots as well as distance shots, but other than that, let them be their own boss.

Once the camera is full, and it will not take long on those first outings, take it right away for some express development. This will be very exciting for your child. Refrain from criticizing any odd shots or angles or blurry images.

Remember that we all have done that throughout our lifetime. Purchase an inexpensive photo album where they can arrange the photos on their own and have them own photo collection.

Look at Photo Collections

closeup photo of person wearing sunglasses

If you do not have any coffee table books full of large photos, then head over to your local library and check some out. Look at these together with your child. Talk about which photos they like and why they like them.

Do they like nature photographs? Or do they like photos of people and faces? Use this as a guide in their next foray with the camera. If ey likes photographs of people, then encourage them to take photos, but emphasize that they should ask permission before taking anyone’s photograph.

Go For a Basic Digital Camera

black and silver nikon dslr camera on brown wooden table

After a few rounds on the disposable cameras, try out a basic digital camera. When my son was in the first grade, I gave him my small digital camera when I upgraded to a digital SLR. Now as a fourth grader, he is still using it, although it is showing a little age.

Digital cameras have come down in price significantly and you do not need to buy one with all the bells and whistles to start out. Go for simplicity and a reasonable price. If he can read the manual, then let him read it on his own and start playing with it.

Make sure that the one you purchase is easily downloadable to your computer, but most are these days. One with a rechargeable battery will save loads of money down the road.

Load the Pictures into the Computer

black and silver laptop computer

Once your child masters working the digital camera and knows how to delete images, load the images onto the computer. Instead of doing it for them, instruct and allow them to do it themselves. The more they learn to do on their own, the faster she will master it.

Offer assistance when they ask you, but stand back and allow them to figure out some of the methods themselves. Introduce them to a simple photo program, where they can crop, change the lighting on the images, and even turn some into black and white.

For their first endeavors, do get some of the images developed from the memory card so they will have something to place in their own physical photo album.

Blow up the Photography and Display It

white and black photo frame near clear glass tray

Take one or two of their best shots and have them enlarged at your local photo shop. You can even enlarge some to poster-size these days.

There is nothing better for a child’s self-esteem and confidence in their art than to have a parent proudly display it.

Frame a shot or two and mount them on their bedroom wall or in the living room. This will only make them want to pursue the art of photography further.

Come Up with Photo Projects

Most PC come with Power Point or Google Slides. Encourage your child to use their new photography skills in this computer environment. Create slideshows using eiher of those programs. They will need this skill before you know it.

For example, if you go on a vacation, they should use their photos within a Power Point, where they uses their photos and also writes a narrative of a trip.

If they goes to a rock and mineral museum, they should take photos of the rocks and then load them into a Power Point.

Distribute Your Child’s Photography Art

One great way to boost your child’s self esteem and provide great creative gifts for grandparents, aunts, uncles and teachers is to have some of the photos developed and then framed for Christmas and birthday gifts.

Your child will love doing this and friends and family will love to receive them.