I'm thrilled to welcome Janet Pliszka, owner Kids Photography Academy, as today's guest poster who is perfectly qualified to explain why photography is a great hobby for kids, and how several of those benefits are good for the whole family, too.
Summer is here! Many parents are dreaming of family bbqs, walks through the parks and camping trips that go seamlessly. Kids playing happily outside, siblings enjoying each others' company and family field trips. And then we abruptly get woken up from our dreams hearing our tweens shout out the words “I’m borrrrred” and “There’s nothing to do."
Yet, tweens don’t want us to be around every moment of their summer. They are enjoying their independence and self-discovery. You may have some organized activities for them, but why not give them the opportunity to be resourceful and creative on their own?
Encourage your tween to take up photography for the summer. There are many reasons why introducing photography to kids this summer is an idea to consider.
1. Photography Moves Kids' Bodies and Minds
Taking pictures will get your tween moving their body. They will be moving up & down and running here & there to get the best angles and perspectives. They’ll set off on their bikes to a new location to see what they images they can capture. They will get outdoors discovering light, texture and colour. And their minds will be swirling with ideas of what to take a picture of next. When they are racking up screen time on their camera displays or phones rather than doing video games, it’s a good thing!
2. Photography Encourages Self Expression
Tweens are of an age when self identity is becoming more and more important. They have a lot going through their mind and they can benefit from activities which help their self expression. Photography is exactly that; it’s all about self expression. It can be a medium to share their voice, their opinion and views on the world. They can do a photo documentary on animals in the humane society. They show their friends in a creative light. They document summer camp. Whatever it is, it’s showing how they are unique and how they are special, leading to a higher sense of self-confidence.
3. It Reveals Unique Perspectives and Ways of Seeing
Photography consistently challenges us to see unique perspectives. Photographers are looking for ways to see ordinary things in a new light. This translates not only with the creative process of taking a picture but into other aspects of living as well. You don’t just start to see different ways of taking pictures, but different ways of seeing the world.
4. Photography Strengthens Children's Decision-making Skills
With every picture taken, your tween will make choices: what angle to use, what perspective to take, what colours to include, what message to send. They instantly see the impact of what each decision they make. And with each of those decisions, the image becomes more and more their own.
With many pictures, they will also solve problems. How do I get the light to look softer on their face? How do I change this exposure without getting camera shake? All those decisions and problem solving skills increases their self confidence. You’ll see that look of pride of their face when they show you their favourite images.
5. Images Create a Tool for Family Conversation
As parents of tweens, we are always looking for a way to continue our conversations with them. Their images and ideas can be a starting point for many quality conversations. Questions like what’s this about, why did you take this picture and what feeling were you trying to evoke here can lead to other discussion. This is the perfect opportunity to let art be a tool to increase communication.
You’re now convinced that your tween will get a ton out of becoming a shutterbug this summer. Next guest post, we’ll talk about how to get them involved in photography this season.
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