How to Encourage Your Child to Take Up Nature Photography

Most children love being outdoors. Learning to take photos will help them improve focus, explore their natural surroundings and see the world in a new perspective

By Jayanth Sharma

How to Encourage Your Child to Take Up Nature Photography

In the past decade, photography has emerged as one of the most popular activities enjoyed by a wide range of people. Be it pursuing photography as a hobby or building a full-fledged career as a photographer, the allure of the camera’s lens manages to attract people from all walks of life. Most people tend to take up photography as a hobby during their teenage years. But these days, children are equally interested in learning the nuances of this art form. It is amazing how imaginative children get when they are equipped with a camera and the knowledge to operate it. In addition, while they may be too young to fully grasp every feature of a camera, they can still familiarise themselves with it because they are more receptive to learning. On World Photography Day, we give you some pointers to help children take nature photos. 

See the world in a new light

Taking up photography as a hobby can help in improving the focus of young kids, as it teaches them to fully grasp what they are doing, in order to achieve the perfect shot. Many industry experts also believe that introducing hobbies such as photography into a child’s learning curriculum can further boost their overall interest in studies as well as other extracurricular activities.

In short, it becomes easier for children to pick up the technical nuances of photography than most adults, and also becomes the perfect way for children to explore their surroundings and look at the world, especially the outdoors or nature, in a new perspective.

How parents can help 

There are several benefits that come with encouraging children to take a genuine interest in outdoor/nature photography. Here is how parents and guardians can help children grasp the basic nuances of this type of photography:

  1. A Process of discovery – When you are out with your kids, and helping them learn the art of photography, it is important to notice and allow them to wander (under your watchful eyes), and let them discover what they like the most or what they choose to photograph more than other objects. If a kid takes an interest in tiny creatures roaming about, help them in capturing the best shot of different species of bugs and insects. You can also encourage them to experiment by clicking pictures in a way that it captures a unique action of the insect, unlike a random shot.
  2. Patience is a virtue – All parents and adults are aware of the fact that being around young children requires immense patience on their part in order to keep up with their quick steps as well as inquisitive minds. When exploring natural surroundings, it is important to match your kid’s pace; if they wish to stop frequently and observe, you too should take a keen interest in that.
  3. Provide guidance when necessary –Young children are very easily influenced, and can also retain information for long. Therefore, it is advisable to help them out and guide them as and when required so that they know they have someone to rely on for any kind of information regarding photography or its various techniques. You can teach them about different settings like angles and the best light for nature or outdoor photography.
  4. Boost their creativity – It has been a well-known fact that young children are extremely creative, and also have a vivid imagination. Their young minds can transform even the most basic things into artwork; provided they have the right training or guidance to channel that kind of creativity to produce something extraordinary. Thus, by encouraging kids’ into outdoor photography at an early stage, parents allow them to utilise their time in a productive manner and also see a whole new world through their little eyes. 
  5. Nowadays, many travel and photography service providers in India have begun to offer highly engaging photography classes for both kids and adults. They also run seasonal camps for kids to open their eyes to the wonders of photography, as they believe that learning new skills should be effortlessly educational and immensely fun. Some even combine the pleasures of travel and the treasures of learning photography with plenty of practical exercises through camps and workshops, which have been specifically designed for kids.
  6. What’s more, taking it a step further, a few companies that provide photography and photography-oriented travel services in India have made it their social responsibility to help children become responsible citizens by educating them about conservation, wildlife, climate change etc., using tourism and photography.

With all this and more, encouraging children to take up photography as a hobby can certainly help in making them creative, confident, and socially aware adults in future.

Photography tips:

  • Invest time learning and mastering the basics first. A strong foundation leads to sound images.
  • Photography is not in the technicalities but is about the subjective expression of your vision and imagination. So focus on imagining and planning your images.
  • The best camera is the one you have in your hands. Use it to the utmost. Don’t pine for an upgrade until you’ve hit the limit of your current camera’s potential.
  • Know your subject well.
  • You don’t have to photograph everything. Go after what you feel the most passionate about or are excited by.

Some facts about World Photography Day:

Every year, World Photography Day is celebrated on 19 August and on this day, individuals from all walks of life share each other’s world through the means of photography.

The day originated following the invention of the Daguerreotype, the first photography process that was publicly available and was created by French inventors Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce back in 1837. 

A couple of years later, on 9 January 1839, the French Academy of Sciences officially announced the invention, which subsequently led to the French government purchasing the patent for the process, declaring it as a ‘gift free to the world’ on 19 August 1839.

The author is Co-founder and CEO at Toehold, a photography and travel organisation.