I always say that a photographer is one (or one) who, among other things, has the ability to see what others do not see . To see a great photograph where others see a wall with a shadow, to see the potential of some lines that escape to the horizon, to chase mirrors, to throw themselves on the ground, to climb on benches or to get excited to find a good Natural frame for your photos.
That capacity is 50% of what a photographer needs to take good pictures, plus a lot of motivation , a lot of practice , a camera and some technique . And guess who has that innate ability to observe, surprise, to marvel at the world. Exact. Boys and girls should be the envy of any photographer who thinks about it.
In fact, if I had a magic lamp to make a wish for, I would undoubtedly ask that my eyes be given back as a child to fascinate me with the world around me to the level that only boys and girls are capable of ;-). But since I don’t have it, I am content to let myself be inspired by their way of seeing the world (which is not a little) and trying to learn how to capture it in the best possible way in the form of photographs. Do we see some notes to share with them?
TEACH THEM TO TAKE CARE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT
Being responsible with what they are lucky to have and value the material they work with, is the first step we must teach children. The importance of not getting wet, not getting hit, or keeping the equipment clean and in good condition, as well as not forgetting it anywhere, is the basis of confidence to be able to work with the most important object you need any photographer; the camera
TEACH THEM THE BASIC FUNCTIONS OF THE CAMERA
They may start with a compact with different functions (automatic, macro, landscape …) In that case, explain what each of these automatic functions means so you can choose based on what you intend to portray. Obviously, the degree of deepening of the explanation will not be the same for a three year old as for a 10 year old.
Tip : A child is a child, that is to say, however responsible he may be, it is more than likely that the camera will suffer from an occasional mishap, so, no matter how excited you are and how much budget you have, it is better to start with a simple camera , which weighs little , and that allows them to focus on photography , to give them the best SLR camera on the market, from which they will not be able to express their potential and will end up being cumbersome when loading with it.
HOLD THE CAMERA CORRECTLY
We have already talked in the blog about the importance of properly holding the camera to avoid trepidations. Adapted to a child (and some other adult with the Smartphone too) will avoid:
- Little fingers in the middle of the frame (a classic not only for children )
- That the camera falls
Tip : The vertical format also exists ;-), make it known, offer to use it when you see a dominant vertical line (for example buildings, lampposts, etc.). Teach him also to hold the camera well for this format.
COMPOSITION FOR CHILDREN
I am not very much in favor of intervening too much in the creative process of a child, since they have all the originality that innocence, intuition, and a lifetime apart from the corseted clichés of which adults constantly drink and that both inspire and drown our creativity.
However, we can teach you some “rules” or basic composition tips that you can take into account when taking your photographs.
That the lines fall by an oversight, it is an easy error to solve and at the same time it gives great results. Teach them the importance of keeping the horizon or horizontal lines straight, as well as vertical .
THE CENTER (OF THE IMAGE)
Although it is not forbidden to center the image, at the beginning we have a tendency to put all the protagonists of our images at the center of it. Trying to occasionally move the protagonist from the center of the image to one of the sides (rule of thirds for adults), can be a good exercise for them to train their composition.
THE CENTER (OF INTEREST)
Teach them to identify which is the center of interest, that is, which is the protagonist of their image, will help them to better frame and become aware of it (try not to cut it, keep it in focus, approach it, etc.).
Tip : A good way for them to become aware of this protagonist is to encourage them to put titles to the images they are taking, so they will look more at what they wanted to photograph, they will make an analysis of the image and, more importantly, It will help them in the future in the practice of title their photographs and to be aware of the importance of doing so (isn’t it something that goes through you from time to time? ).
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE POINT OF VIEW
Children already have a completely different point of view than an adult. They are shorter, so they are closer to the ground (with the addition that they spend the day lying on the ground ) and are also used to seeing the world from below. His “normal” point of view is always a few centimeters below that of an adult, and an imagination without limits. Take advantage of their desire to move, to jump, to throw themselves on the ground so that they work the different points of view and analyze the results:
- Ground level : What can we photograph if we stretch on the ground?
- From bottom to top : This is usually the way in which a child lives the adult world, and the most representative, therefore, of his way of observing the world in general.
- Normal : teach them to catch up with “normal” or face to face with the elements they want to photograph. Do you have a pet? A little brother or sister? We crouched at the height of his eyes. What do older brothers have? An Argentine bulldog? Do they want to photograph mom and dad?
- From top to bottom : No matter how small they are, there is always something smaller than being able to photograph from above
There are so many photographic things for someone who finds the world so fascinating, that sometimes it is necessary to give them something to focus their creativity on.
One way is to offer them various topics to focus their attention. You can, for example, motivate them through challenges or games in which they must look at various aspects:
- Colors in different scenarios (make several series of different colors)
- Objects that you should find for example on the street (a tree, an animal, the face of a person …)
- Self portraits
- Your favorite doll in different environments
This will teach you to persevere and be patient , essential ingredients for any small or large photographer
While we have edited images throughout life (yes, in the era of the reels we also did it), it is true that today’s edition is the order of the day and forms, increasingly, part of the seal of each of we. In this article you have 20 free online editing programs to practice with your children, although I recommend you start with PicMonkey , very intuitive and complete.
- Show the difference caused by the increase or decrease of exposure in an image
- The same for color saturation
- What happens if we increase or decrease the contrast?
- Let him play with the different filters
- Or add letters, stickers, etc., let them be children
I don’t know any boy or girl who doesn’t love cutting, pasting, painting and smearing in general. So I can think of few better ways to complete the creative process than to print your favorite photos and propose some craft with them:
- Handmade photo albums
- Photo frames
Here are a few more ideas.
REMEMBER THAT IT IS JUST A GAME
The creativity that a child has is a treasure for which all adults with a moderately artistic soul dream and, creativity is, above all, free , so my main advice is to teach them without ceasing to be themselves, without that they lose innocence, intuition and that way of seeing the world so special that it characterizes them. Childhood is a game, they learn by playing, and photography should never be more or less than that.
Oh, and one last piece of advice: Don’t show them everything at once or it will seem like a monumental scroll . Go giving them the indications little by little, turn it into a game, and surely they get passionate quickly, more if they see their mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, uncle or aunt, whoever you read this article, all day camera in hand. At that moment his curiosity and interest in photography begins. Not losing them just depends on how much you get to enjoy it
I hope this article has been useful to you but, above all, I hope it will be useful to create a new generation of children passionate about photography , who know how to see the beauty and magic of the images that surround them and that they themselves are able to create I would appreciate a recommendation on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ for this article to reach as many people as possible. Thank you and see you next time.