Monday, August 6, 2012

The day I gave my child photography tips

I have taught my child many things over the years, but giving my child photography tips was not one of them. At least not until now. Ever since I started taking photography more seriously, Dylan has been begging asking for a camera of his own. He sees the images I take on the computer when we come home and we talk about them - what makes them good, what makes them bad, what I could do differently next time.

Before I run out and buy him a camera of his own, I decided to see if he was serious about taking pictures. So on his birthday I gave him my old camera to use on our trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo. He did not care that the camera was old or that the flash didn't work. He was just happy to have a camera of his own and wanted some photography tips. He said he wanted to learn how to take pictures like me so people would like them and share them.

Considering I still have a lot to learn about photography, I started with the basics - what I like to call my 4 most important child photography tips.

1. Keep the wrist strap on at all times so you don't drop the camera.

2. Take as many pictures as you want.

3. Take your time and hold the camera steady.

4. Have fun!

Once we got that at of the way he was on his own. Well, not really. I explained a few of the settings on the camera and told him he could experiment with them, but I did help him choose what would be the best settings to use on the animals.

Finding a focal point. He was focusing on the flamingos egg and then obviously he liked the goose feet.

I was trying to explain how to get a reflection in the water, but he did get a nice shot of the duck.

Practicing getting a picture centered and then the rule of thirds with the meerkats.

Look around and take a picture of nature. He chose the waterfall. 

The art of zooming in and then the opposite - showing some background to give perspective.
Day one was complete and I was pretty impressed with his photography skills. Especially since he is only 9 years old and this was his first time really taking pictures. Had I given enough simple child photography tips? Could I expand and get more detailed the next day at the zoo?

Apparently the answer was yes. Just look at this picture of Penelope the Galapagos tortoise.

He got so excited with trying out various settings and took almost 200 pictures. Granted these are the best out of those 200 pictures, he has a real interest in photography. Now when we go to the zoo he doesn't rush from one exhibit to the next. He takes his time, waits for the perfect shot, and walks away smiling.

He told me the best photography tip that I gave him was not to waste his time if the subject was too far away. I love that we have yet another thing in common that we can enjoy together.

Dylan, the photographer

With the exception of the photos I took of him, all photos are courtesy of Dylan Fryer.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Keep it up, it's a fantastic hobby or career for him to develop at such a young age!