Like all things, kids can get really excited and then fizzle out (kind of like the my newest diet!) So we have to set realistic exceptions for ourselves as parents for our young Light Seekers. As an adult we can be totally content to just wonder and look around. Kids may last five minutes. Let them put their camera away when they are done. They will become more interested if we let the discover photography at their own pace.
I think kids become more invested when they start to see their printed images. So take the time to clear off their memory card and print a few of their favorites (and your favorites.) At our workshopswe include our Adventure Guide Journal. This is a perfect place to put their printed images, notes, and items they collect from being outside. There is no perfect way to fill in a journal and even though we may be tempted (ok..maybe I am totally tempted) to do it for our kids…don’t. Provide them with encouragement and maybe some cool pens, but let them find their grove.
After you get over the short initial attention span and haphazard journal you next have to be ok with kids approaching photography without any concern for how it looks. I watched my son put his camera on tonight in blast mode and just go to town. I don’t think he was even taking a picture of anything he found particularly interesting. He just wanted to take a lot pictures in a row. If we lived in a film era I would have gone crazy, but considering he had a very large memory card in and it cost me nothing to have him shoot 20 images of his feet… why not. They are learning right now to just explore what their camera does and to find interesting things to photograph. The “how to compose” and “how to find light” takes time.
I am always surprised by how amazing their images can be if we just let them play. Amy’s daughter has been taking pictures with Amy for almost two years and I am always amazed by how creative her images are. She just plays and find interesting angles and objects that are often overlooked.
I think young Light seekers need a trail guide. They need someone to be apart of their adventure at first. I don’t see my kids going on walks in our woods by themselves to take pictures (plus I am not sure I 100% trust my son with his camera yet.) The best thing you can do to encourage your child is go outside with them! Enjoy the shoulder to shoulder time with them.
We want to encourage you to have fun and let your child just be creative at their pace. Show interest in what they area taking pictures of and encourage them to come with you when you are taking pictures. I bet you both will find new and interesting things to photograph!
Enjoy the Adventure