Getting Children Interested in Photography
Introducing photography to a child at an early age is a great way to foster creativity, help kids learn, and become life-long photographers. For thirteen years, I taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students how to read, write, and add and subtract. In many of my lessons, I incorporated photography. Whether it was to grab the student’s attention, teach an objective, or assess lesson outcomes, photography became a means to get a point across. So what can we do as photographers to garner a child’s attention so they too will become life-long photographers.
First, get a Camera in the hands of a child at an early age. Sounds crazy, but I gave my daughter a Fisher Price digital camera, One she could chew on yet capture to her hearts desire. This experience lays the foundation for future photographers. She took many pictures of herself and of her surroundings. She now takes pictures everywhere, uses her experiences in school projects, and helps document family events.
Next, have a child take lots of pictures, yet slow down. In this day and age there is no excuse for not having moments captured. Exposing kids to picture taking enables creativity, fosters learning, and satisfies a need to get a moment captured. At the same time talk with your student about composing a good picture, taking the time to move the angle to get a better portrait. These small moments in time will help a child better understand concepts and lead to teachable photography moments.
Finally, create teachable photography moments. Spend a few moments with a child and talk about the rule of thirds, or discuss lighting and begin to incorporate terms into the vocabulary. These teachable moments become lifelong strategies kids use in and out of school. They will hear it again and use these concepts in Math and science, and be betters readers and writers because of these moments.
Photography and education go hand in hand. It is important to expose children to the art of photography at an early age and continue this education throughout their formative years. My own have incorporated photography into their lives, performed better in school because of it, and have a life-long love of the art. Garnering a child’s attention whether it was in my classroom or in the he home, photography plays an important role in their development.
-Dave Pott, Columbia, MO Store Manager