Summer Sale – Use code SUMMER10 at checkout!

A camera for Christmas? Here’s how to teach your child about photography

teaching child about photography

Getting your child a camera for Christmas is a great idea. It’s a quality gift that can last for a long time and help your child to create many happy memories for the future. Truly a gift that keeps on giving. But you also need to invest some time and effort in helping your child learn how to use their camera properly and – just as important – enjoy using it so that they want to keep on doing it.

So in this article we take a look at how to teach your child about photography.

If you are a passionate photographer you will naturally want to share this with your kids. But even if you’re not, giving your child some help and guidance on how to take good photos and have fun in the process will lay a great foundation on which they can build their own love of photography.

So here are five tips that we hope will be useful when considering how to teach your child about photography. 


Choose a camera suitable for learners

It’s probably best not to go all out for a top of the range digital camera this Christmas. At this stage, you don’t really know how interested your child will be and how long they will use the camera for. It would be such a waste for an expensive camera to get put aside once the Christmas season is over and never used again. 

So start small. If your child develops a real passion for photography you can always get them something better at a later stage. Our article Want to learn about photography? Start here! has some useful tips about what to look for in a camera, but in general a good value point-and-shoot camera should do the trick. Also remember to get a suitable memory card, and batteries if needed.

Also bear in mind that you could also use other types of cameras such as smartphones, tablets, or even gaming devices such as Nintendo. So, depending on the age of your child, another device that also embeds a decent camera could be a good option. 

The ideal is to find something that they will like and are likely to use regularly in their daily lifestyle.



Practise on what they know

Children are more likely to take to photography if it can be incorporated into their daily lives rather than it being an extra thing that they have to do. So encourage them to take photos anywhere and everywhere – within reason of course!

For example family get-togethers, parties, days out, walks, sporting events are all great settings for some great photos, and also make the experience fun. And letting them take photos of day to day life at home is good too : pets, the garden, decorating, playing games, cooking, eating . . . . there is always plenty going on that could make a good subject for a photo.

At this stage, your main aim is to get your child interested in taking photographs so let them loose. Once they start seeing the results of their shots, you then have a good base from which to plan how to teach your child about photography. 


Teach them the rule of thirds

A good place to start helping your child learn more about photography is to explain the rule of thirds. We cover this in more detail in our article Want to learn about photography? Start here!

Explain to them that many of the best photos are based on the concept of dividing the image into a noughts and crosses style grid of two horizontal lines and two vertical lines, with the most important elements of the image positioned either along the lines, or at the points where they meet.

This can create a balanced image and avoid too much wasted space, and works particularly well when photographing either landscapes or groups of people.



Get them to hold still

Another key lesson for your child to learn is to hold still when taking a shot. This is particularly important if they are using a digital camera, because there may be a small lag between them pressing the button and the camera actually taking the photo. This could result in either a blurred shot or them missing what it was they were trying to take.

So if using a digital camera, encourage them to press the shutter button partly down, check that the camera has focused, and then gently press the button all the way down. Even after releasing the button, it is best to continue holding the camera steady until they are confident that it has finished taking the shot.

Also check the camera manual to see if there is any minimum focusing distance specified for the lens they are using. If this is the case, the camera will not be able to focus the lens on subjects closer than this distance.


Encourage their creativity

The final key point to consider when planning how to teach your child about photography is to remember that you are teaching a child not an adult, so you need to look at things through a child’s eyes. Children like to be creative and fun, so let them harness this creativity in their photography.

There is no reason why they can apply the principles of the rule of thirds, and also ensure correct focussing, but still come up with some quirky creative photos. For example, they may want to explore taking photos from different angles – either by positioning themselves on the floor or up a staircase, or by twisting and turning the camera itself – for some fun, creative results.

And even after the photos have been taken, they may want to add some creative effects to finish them off in their own unique way. You may prefer photos not to have too many effects added, but be careful not to dampen their enthusiasm or curb their creative instinct. Our article Five of the best photo editing apps for 2022 provides some useful information about the kinds of effects you can add to photos and what apps to look out for.

We hope that this guide gives you a few pointers on how to teach your child about photography. Good luck! And remember to check back here soon for more helpful photography guides from Print Your Memory.


Share Post: