I love kids. I just love ’em! A child’s laughter is THE best sound ever. (Ocean waves come in #2.) I love how kids are real with you, which makes “I hate (fill in the blank)” sting a little and “You are my best friend in the universe” mean so much. I love running around with them, playing games, and making jokes. My husband rolls his eyes when I show my kids “see-food” during meals, but it makes them laugh so hard! I just tell them they can only do that with mom and that other people may think it’s impolite. Fingers crossed that they’ll remember it.
So I probably don’t need to say this, but… I love photographing kids and families because it combines two things I love so much: kids and photography.
I also think it’s important that kids exercise their creativity, so I always encourage my kids to draw, paint, build, tell stories, write books, and now, experiment with photography. My two youngest (they are 4 and 7) have children’s camera. They’re more like a toy, but they practice composition and put thought into what they want to photograph. My oldest (she is 9) has a digital camera, and she takes a lot of artistic photos with it. We also have an instant camera (one that prints each image onto a small 2×3″ print) and we bring it on trips, so the kids can stick it into their journals.
The point is, kids can learn photography at an early age. This doesn’t mean you should give them an expensive DSLR and pray they don’t break/lose/throw/sit on/drop it. There are activities you can do together that can help them appreciate photography as an Art and a storytelling tool.
Here’s an example…
This past weekend, I had a “mommy date” with my son, Ian, who is 7 years old. We bought…er, I mean, adopted a monster, named Domo, who looks like a furry chocolate bar. My kids love him, as do I, admittedly. (He’s especially cute in a mini Cal shirt!)
During our date, Ian and I got yummy drinks and then took Domo on a photoshoot. Ian calls it a “Domo-shoot”! Ian directed Domo and I pressed the shutter. We laughed and laughed at all the things Domo could do. (He apparently isn’t great at jumping, but he is super adventurous with tree-climbing and hiking up a hill.) We had such a great time.
What kind of photography-related activities do you do with your kids?
“Um, how do I get down?”
*sniiiffff* “Ahhhh, that’s nice. WAAA-CHOOOOOOO!”
“I need to work on my tan.”
“Hike, 1, 2, 3…”
“Weeeee, this is fun!”