Samaria Daniel and Hadley Beacham, founders of the Sprouting Image, specialize in introducing kids to the wonderful world of photography. “We have found that allowing kids to have the opportunity to take pictures and experiment is a simple way for them to be creative and to practice strong observational skills.” They are hosting a workshop this summer at the Bellevue Club; below they give a sneak peak of the lessons planned for little ones.
Reflections magazine: What are the biggest challenges when teaching kids photography?
The Sprouting Image: One challenge we face when teaching kids about photography is they can get frustrated when their idea doesn’t come out exactly as they imagined. When you discuss their images, ask if they are happy with how their picture turned out and if there is anything they are frustrated about. This will allow you to problem-solve together, try again, or find more appropriate camera settings, light or angles.
RM: What are some of the benefits to introducing photography at a young age?
TSI: There are a number of benefits that come from young kids practicing photography. Learning to control a camera allows them to spend time being creative while also practicing simple math and science skills. As they experiment with their camera, they are tasked with havi
ng to be patient and thoughtful while also applying observational and problem-solving skills.
As they gain more confidence in themselves as creators, they will start to experiment more with their exposures and learn which colors, lighting, textures and compositions delight them. Through practicing photography, they will grow as artists and learn to create unique images of their own.
RM: Do you have recommendations for cameras and equipment for kids?
TSI: Our two favorite cameras to teach with are the Sony A7ii and the Canon 7D with various lenses, but we also own a wide variety of digital and film cameras, and all of them are useful tools for teaching basics. Our recommended cameras are great for in-depth learning to control all aspects of the camera.
RM: Any other tips or thoughts?
TSI: Making art should be fun, and even though there are technically a lot of “rules” about what makes a great photo or piece of art, we want our students to have the drive to create for themselves! It’s rewarding when students start to notice what makes them excited and happy to become active leaders in the creative process.
Tips for Introducing Kids to Photography
It’s the best place to start due to natural light.
Let them use your camera
If a child is old enough to keep a camera around their neck, trust them!
Reiterate the rules
When you go over rules, remind kids the camera is a delicate tool and can break if they are not mindful. After responsibility and trust are discussed, we find kids are usually responsible with equipment.
Give them goals
This might be a timed challenge where they are tasked with capturing as many yellow objects as they can find, or to take sets of photographs showing opposites such as hard versus soft or round versus sharp. Find a prompt that makes their eyes light up, and go with it.
Discuss their images
Ask how they feel about what they captured and what their thought process was like. Share what you notice and find interesting about their creations.
Print out their photos, and hang them in the house. It’s rewarding to see your work hanging on a wall, and it will help build their confidence as a creator. We recommend using mpix.com.
For more information, please visit thesproutingimage.com. Follow them on Instagram @thesproutingimage and at facebook.com/TheSproutingImage/.