4 Ways Photography Can Help Your Child Beat Stress

Do you want your child to learn a skill that will help her stay relaxed and handle stress effectively? Try photography. It helps build life skills and hone self-confidence.

By Sriram

4 Ways Photography Can Help Your Child Beat Stress

Parents often feel worried and overwhelmed when they see their teens being stressed because of school and college, peer pressure, competitive examinations and so much more. As much as it is stressful for youngsters, it can be equally challenging for parents to find ways to help their children beat anxiety.

I have personally observed this struggle with my near and dear ones. Using photography as a tool, I have helped many of them successfully convert stress and anxiety into opportunities.

Not just about taking photos

Most of us think that photography is only about taking good photos. But it is beyond that. In my view, photography calms your mind, body and soul. It is also about appreciating the beauty in everything around you — by capturing them in a memorable manner. It is about bringing out the beauty in the ordinary.

I believe every human has a unique way of expressing themselves. Photography helps to bring out your creative self by using the right lighting, angles and specific objects, among other things. It helps the inner mind to open and find expression in free form. Hence, it can help bring out your child’s innate potential.

Here are interesting tips for youngsters to take up photography:

1. Walk, capture, cherish...and walk a little more

We are all aware that walking is a good exercise. However, motivating the younger generation or even, adults to take up this simple exercise can be challenging. Take your camera and go for a walk. Have a simple target in mind — to click about 50 pictures in a day.

Now, you will see the magic! Initially, you may come upon various objects, people or activities that you find worthy of being photographed. But, as you get involved in the process, practise and improve, you will find that even the routine can be captured in a more elegant and creative manner. Similarly, I have seen people who used to walk 5km initially, reduce the distance but enhance the walking experience. In the same way, as your photographic skill improves, the quality of pictures and your resulting satisfaction will see a steep increase.

2. Zoom in

‘Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder’ is a very powerful saying. For a photographer, beauty is everywhere. More important, you can capture this beauty through the lens of the camera.

So, you may marvel over a small little plant or flower budding out of a compound wall. You may exclaim over an anthill formed around trees...and so on. All these were there before and will continue to exist in the future too, but the moment you become keen to capture something lively, you will focus and zoom in. And, you will look at it differently. Here’s a tip to capture something interesting. Look at the ground! Yes, there is a lot that we miss by not looking down. Similarly, we can capture beautiful moments by simply looking up.

3. Communicate

Human beings are born to be social. However, many of us may hesitate to speak or open up to an unknown person. But in life, we need to develop this important skill. Photography can help you in that aspect too.

Street photography and especially shooting ‘street portraits’ has helped me become more confident, as this involves interacting with strangers. It has helped me shed my inhibitions and initiate small talk with strangers — a good way to break the ice. It also helps me connect better with other people.

I often suggest that the younger generation should approach a bunch of strangers and ask for permission to take their pictures. Try to explain the reason behind taking their photographs. Talk to them, communicate and convince them. This also helps you develop excellent negotiation skills. While there are some who agree to be clicked, some might strongly object to it. It is important to make a note of the reason behind ‘No’. This, in turn, helps you handle rejections and get rid of unnecessary ego, shyness or anger.

This article is written based on my personal experiences. I hope it can help others, especially young people, overcome some of the challenges related to life skills.

I deliberately avoided the term ‘career’ in the above article. However, if you can overcome the anxiety when it comes to talking to unknown people and communicate better using photography as a tool, I am certain it will help you become a great photographer too. The photographs you take will surely make a huge difference!

The author is Director — Pranaya Wedding. 

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