Thursday, October 4, 2012

ART WITH KIDS - Kids with Cameras

Nothing makes a kid feel like a grown up photographer like giving them their own camera.  It goes without saying that better cameras take better photos, and that's like any other art medium (ie: high quality watercolor paints will work better than the Crayola watercolors in a dish), but you'll have to weigh the options (mostly being more expensive) for yourself.

When I was five, I got a camera for my birthday from a friend.  The gift included a camera, a roll of film, and a small photo album.  I thought it was wonderful, and vividly remember using the last of the film to take pictures of cartwheels down the hill in my backyard.  The only problem? One roll of film was not enough, and I didn't have a current, regular job to pick up the expense of film and development that came along with it as a five-year-old.  I learned to only take pictures of things that were deemed "worthy" so the film wouldn't be wasted and grew to be miserly with each photo.

To think back on this memory, it seems crazy to not have unlimited access to photography!  Not to be able to see the snapshot instantly, what a travesty!  As technology travels on, the benefits grow and grow! My boy loves to take photos and see the images he captures right away.

A few years later, I was given a packet of sun-sensitive paper.  I had never even heard of anything like that before.  I admired the paper and found some lovely shells to experiment with.  Sun-sensitive paper has become a lot more common now, and I've even seen some sun-sensitive fabric and fabric paint!  I'd love to get my hands on some of that!

All photos courtesy of my three-year old. 2012

So, here's the tip for this post-- Give your camera to your kids (or give them their own to ruin)
-Watch what they like to take pictures of
-look at how they compose a photo and where the focal points lay
-see how they experiment with light and darkness
-watch their mind working as they realize how photos work (like putting their fingers over the lens)
Extra credit:
-play around with sun-sensitive paper/paint/fabric with them
-make a pinhole camera with them
-display their photos
-have fun with shutter-speed
-take pictures in the dark and talk about what happens

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