7 reasons your child should pick up a camera today

We’re delighted to welcome Janet Pliszka, owner of Kids Photography Academy, as our guest blogger this month. As a professional family photographer and teacher of photography to kids, she’s here to explain why photography is a great hobby to introduce to our younger generation.

I first picked up my camera when I put film in my camera instead of a memory card. At that time, my main subjects were unwilling cats which I would dress up in their doll clothes. Since those days, I have taken thousands and thousands of images all around the world. I started my own photography company in Calgary a decade ago and more recently created Kids Photography Academy, an online photography classroom for children in 2014.

1. Photography Reveals Unique Perspectives and Ways of Seeing
Photography consistently challenges kids to seek out unique perspectives. This translates not only to the creative process of taking a picture but to other aspects of living as well. Kids don’t just start to figure out different ways to click the shutter, but different ways of seeing the world. A kid can compare everyday life pictures in Toronto to the everyday life pictures of another kid the same age in New Delhi.

2. Photography Moves Kids’ Bodies and Minds

Taking pictures gets kids moving their bodies. They will move up & down and run here & there to get the best angles and perspectives. They will be outdoors discovering light, texture and colour. It’s not just their bodies that will be on the go though. Their minds will also be swirling with the what, how, why, where and when of taking a meaningful photo!

3. Photography Encourages Self Expression
Photography can be a medium to share your child’s voice, their opinion and views on the world. Photographers are storytellers. And we all know what amazing stories our kids have to share! Another bonus? Photography is not a hobby on its own. It can go wherever they go… on a hike, to their favourite sport activity, on a trip with their friends, throughout their community, to a fundraiser. Whatever it is, it’s showing how they are unique and how they are special, leading to a higher sense of self-confidence. Whether it’s shared to a broader audience or not, pictures are a creative way for kids to share what they find beautiful and interesting with others.

4. Photography Strengthens Children’s Decision-making Skills
With every picture taken, your child will make choices: what angle to use, what perspective to take, what colours to include, what message to send. In today’s digital world, they instantly see the impact of each decision they make. And with each of those decisions, the image becomes more and more their own. As they start to dive into the technical aspects of photography, 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 increase their skills and their confidence.

5. Images Create a Tool for Family Conversation
All over the world, parents are always looking for a way to have conversations with their kids. These 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 can lead to other discussions. This is the perfect opportunity to let art be a tool to increase communication in your family.

6. Photography Records
Why do we take photos anyway? It’s often to freeze that moment in time. Have you ever flipped through photo albums or digital slideshows with your kids? They love seeing themselves and those they care about. It brings up so many Remember when’s. Now that they are part of creating the images, there is another source of pride for them while remembering their lives. Photographs are part of our legacy.

7. Photography Grows with Them
There are so many aspects of photography to discover and try. How to take photographs, how to tell stories, how to edit photographs, how to display photographs. The learning and experimenting is never done. As kids interests change, so will the subjects for their photography work. So will the techniques they use to tell their stories. It’s a skill and mode of self-expression that can stay with them forever, yet evolve and change with them at the same time.

As our world becomes more and more digital, photography becomes a more important skill to have. Images tell so much. And taking great pictures is a skill that can be used to market themselves, market others, teach each other, express themselves, and connect with others on a multitude of platforms.

So put a camera in the hands of your junior shutterbug and let them experience the art, science and fun of photography!

The author, Janet Pliszka is the founder of Kids Photography Academy, an online classroom that teaches kids the art, science and fun of photography. Janet’s mission is to inspire all children to share their stories and their unique perspectives through photography. Her passion to empower children with tools to express themselves and feel connected to the world they live in, is what Kids Photography Academy is built on. Janet is also a professional child and family photographer in Calgary, Alberta.

This article is written and paid for by Janet Pliszka of the Kids Photography Academy.

Comments (1)

Yashy Murphy Posted on Sep 23, 2015

Yes to all of these points!! I had my first camera when I was 7 and we've given the little ones their own already!

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