Our middle daughter used to be really into photography. She loved taking photographs and would lift the DSLR without any fear. So on a mummy time whim we decided we would go on a photowalk. We’ve now done a few but our most recent was at a local forest park and it was just the best way to spend an hour. As well as loving searching out photo opportunities it was such a different and fun way to spend time with her, I really loved it and am planning our next one!
So how do I help encourage and nurture this wee creative interest she has? Well here are ten ways I think are great to motivate and inspire a longer term love.
1. Your own interest. Your own creativity and passion often inspires others. If you are really interested in photography and value it in your everyday, it’s likely your kids have noticed that too. Pass it on, it’s another way of showing the world to your children…noticing the beauty of the everyday little details.
2. Helping set up or style a photo. My girls love to help me order petals and ‘play’ with the objects I might have pulled out for a photo on Instagram. Get them alongside while you set up, encourage them to make their own version…nurturing a love of photography is to draw out a love of observation and an ‘eye’ for beauty around them.
3. Go on a photowalk. We use it as a bit of one-on-one time. Chat and giggle, talk about everything and nothing. It’s all good. Mix it up too; you could go to the forest one week and into an urban setting the next. How about even walking around the block near your house – see what they notice and point out the gorgeous details and everyday beauties of life.
4. Talk about imagining what they want to photograph before they take it. Pre-visualisation. What do they want to fit in the frame? How do they fit it in? Think about where they will have to stand and the distance from the subject.
Then on a very practical note…
5. Hold the camera still. As still as they can and explain why. Compare the differences in the photo when they are moving and static and allow them to come to their own conclusions.
6. Talk about natural light. Again, all them to compare their photos taken in different light -natural and man made and how where they stand when they take the photograph will make a massive difference too.
7. Discuss the photos they take – what do they like about it. How would they change it. Take a different one of the same subject. And another! It’ll be fun to look through later and choose their favourite – even professional photographers take many photos to get their ‘one’.
8. Praise. It is their view of the world. And this makes it perfect, there is no wrong picture. Choose out bits or colours that are lovely. Or simply praise what they have chosen to photograph and how they have noticed beauty and captured it in time.
9. Go with their vision – not yours! Photography is in the eye of the person holding the camera!! I love to photograph flowers and flatlays as you know if you follow me on instagram. But they may not. And that’s ok. It is in these moments where their character and interests are drawn out, their own wee personalities and tendencies. Go with that, it’s who they are.
10. Have fun! Explore, play and when you’re done even go mad and print some out to put up on their wall. It is such a simple way to spend time together -noticing the beauty of the world around us and engaging with your kids in a creative way, completely outside of the normal constraints of family life and regular conversation topics. Who knows where it may lead!
I’d love to hear if you have any other ideas…leave a comment and let me know, I might get to try them out with my wee budding photographer!