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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Kids & Family Talk 
Thread started 15 Aug 2015 (Saturday) 21:42
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Getting My Kid To Like Photography

 
snegron
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Aug 15, 2015 21:42 |  #1

For the past few years I have tried numerous ways of getting my kids interested in photography. I even promised them that if they showed any interest whatsoever I would buy them whatever camera they want. So far nothing until today.

My little one (9 year old) walked up to me while I was watching TV and out of nowhere uttered the following magic words:

"Daddy, can we go to the (local) wildlife preserve to take pictures of birds?"

I tried to contain my excitement, but I'm sure my kid could see right through me! I said "Of course! I'll get a camera ready for you by tomorrow and we will go take pictures of birds!"

I grabbed a couple of cameras ( an old EVF and an m4/3 with a couple of lenses) and charged up the batteries. If my kid enjoys taking pics of birds with Daddy tomorrow, I will have at least a glimmer of hope that all the equipment I have accumulated over the years will go to good use.

This is really the first time one of my kids voluntarily asks to go take pictures with me. I don't want to mess this opportunity up, so any recommendations are welcome. I don't want to overwhelm my kid with technical jargon, or turn this outing into an endurance marathon lugging around heavy equipment ( that's why I decided to go with an EVF and an M4/3 set up for her). I don't want to scare or intimidate her; I want her to enjoy taking pics. Suggestions?




  
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Luxx
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Aug 15, 2015 21:49 |  #2

I'm not proud of this….

but if you are going out in the AM get her breakfast…on the way home get her a treat…Let her be the one who "finds" the birds etc. give almost no pointers about cameras and photos on the trip.

let her remember how special the event was whether she learns anything or not.

If you do this you I think you will significantly increase your chance that it happens again.




  
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Naturalist
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Aug 15, 2015 21:55 |  #3

Yes! This is not about photography, but about you and your kid exploring the natural world TOGETHER, while recording the events with photography. Have them take images of the wildlife and you get images of them doing this - even if you have to use a smart phone - and you will have memories together for a lifetime!

Keep it fun!


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snegron
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Aug 15, 2015 22:01 |  #4

Luxx wrote in post #17670320 (external link)
I'm not proud of this….

but if you are going out in the AM get her breakfast…on the way home get her a treat…Let her be the one who "finds" the birds etc. give almost no pointers about cameras and photos on the trip.

let her remember how special the event was whether she learns anything or not.

If you do this you I think you will significantly increase your chance that it happens again.



Thanks! I will definitely do everything possible to make this a positive experience for her!




  
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snegron
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Aug 15, 2015 22:05 |  #5

Naturalist wrote in post #17670322 (external link)
Yes! This is not about photography, but about you and your kid exploring the natural world TOGETHER, while recording the events with photography. Have them take images of the wildlife and you get images of them doing this - even if you have to use a smart phone - and you will have memories together for a lifetime!

Keep it fun!

Thanks! The cool thing is that there is an exhibit center at the entrance of the preserve. It is sort of a small museum with a gift shop. Ice cream shop will be a must-stop on the way home as well! :)

I am crossing my fingers this outing will motivate her to find some interest in photography.




  
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Naturalist
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Aug 15, 2015 22:47 |  #6

I used to introduce my kids to backpacking when they were about 4 years old. (in other words, they were out of diapers and knew what to do when the old man said "sit down" "shut up") LOL:lol:

I always included them in the plan. Grab a map, go over the area, show the excitement - wondering what we'll discover - and at the end we ALWAYS had a reward so I stopped at the local ice cream parlor for a celebratory scoop of ice cream.

Little hings like this involves the little ones more and makes it fun all the way, anticipation, the event and, the reward!!

Have a great time!!


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PCousins
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Aug 16, 2015 02:57 |  #7

I was very lucky that both of my Son's took to photography, My eldest Son now is into his cars and not so much now. The Photo below was taken last year of my youngest son aged 12, he enjoys macro and has been a keen photographer now for 4 years. He gets great results from his bridge camera's and he has a good eye for photography.
I think the key is spending prime time out together, having a great day with a picnic but most importantly when you get home spending the time to see the results and looking at each others photo's and post processing them together. I believe that encouraging and praising goes along way and my reward for this being precious memories.


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lilkngster
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Aug 16, 2015 05:25 as a reply to  @ Naturalist's post |  #8

I am thinking that a 9 year old suddenly realizing they want to learn bird photography is a lot more rare than or a 9 year old who realizes that the quickest way to get daddy's attention and love is to say what daddy wants to hear.

I would make sure that today is a daddy daughter day first and not the first day of daddy's school of photography. If she is a budding photographer, it will become apparent, otherwise, I would make sure that she has so much fun that my other kids would get jealous and want photo trips too.

Enjoy today


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snegron
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Aug 16, 2015 16:51 |  #9

Success! Today went better than I expected. I followed the recommendations posted here about making it a fun day for her. While there were almost no birds in the sanctuary she was able to spot the only three birds and captured nice images of them. I took pics of her taking pics. We ended up stopping for pasta (her favorite food) on the way home. She was very happy and enjoyed our first photo day.

Thanks everyone for the tips and suggestions. This was a truly memorable day for both my daughter and I . We will be processing the pics together this week .




  
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Luxx
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Aug 16, 2015 17:01 |  #10

That's wonderful. Made my day to hear that it went well.




  
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MichiTimm
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Aug 19, 2015 13:07 |  #11

I'm late to the thread, but I'm glad I got to see the happy ending. :)

By the way, here's how my dad got me to love photography: He loved photography. I loved him and wanted to be like him and have things in common with him. Simple as that. Worked with baseball too.




  
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gonzogolf
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Aug 19, 2015 13:57 |  #12

You've got your answer, you can't make your kid be interested in something. You can only create an environment in which they can discover it..




  
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Mc_Fly
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Aug 19, 2015 14:10 |  #13

I had no interest in photography even though my dad had a nice camera setup. He bought one of the first Pentax cameras with the autofocus. We didnt even touch it. I had no interest whatsoever. I only started taking pictures after my son was born and then I was all about it. I couldnt take enough pictures. Then came the digital cameras and I had all kinds even a Sony camera that took floppy disks. Those were fun times. I wish I had kept that camera.


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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 3 years ago by MalVeauX. (2 edits in all)
     
Aug 19, 2015 14:16 |  #14

Great to see you two had a good time!

I try to remind myself that Photography is an art and a skill. For some, the skill part is less important and they don't care as much for the gear, skill, etc, and just want to play with it and make art basically. My wife, her sister, all the kids, etc, they are interested in good photos, and I have to bite my tongue to not try and help them "do better photography" because I have to always remember that people see it differently and for some it's just the fun act of taking a photo and the memory attachment, and they really don't care if the photo is technically a good photo or truly artsy in the eyes of others even.

Making art. Making memories.

Me, well, it seems to be in the genes. I'm doomed. Not even 2 years old...

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8733/16886566472_bfa2c88b55_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/rJd4​TN  (external link) IMG_2940 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7644/16267731383_0cf8029b45_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qMwn​Mi  (external link) IMG_2936 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7634/16887798195_fe4c5dbd53_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/rJjo​3p  (external link) IMG_2944 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

(She was copying daddy here, holding up the camera to her face. It was a mirrorless with no view finder, lol. She has since figured out how to take the lens cap off, and realized that you see the live view and touch it to take pictures... hah)

She will probably have all my gear before high school... and I'll just revert back to Pentax & Boating.

Very best,

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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Aug 19, 2015 14:58 |  #15

I am very lucky that my daughter now 11 shares a lot of interest with me. My wife and I do a lot of studio stuff from seniors to boudoir (under different company names). My daughter helps me get the studio ready for every session, and helps on portraits and what not sessions. She also loves to model in the studio for me.

Now we all love hiking and landscape photography. We do a good amount of traveling to national parks. I have her do a sorts of research for where we will be going. I have her chart out sunrise and sunset times after we have set dates. I give her areas to research hiking, and have her hit up google for photography locations. I basically have her do the same exact things I do while planning. I let her suggest locations and best times of day, then when we go to one of those places on the trip and get amazing photos she can brag that it was all her idea.

I started her out just using my smart phone to take pictures, now her mom and her share my backup camera, they both have an amazing eye for landscapes and a good half of our keepers come from them.

She cant wait to assist her first wedding, she has a few years yet but will be ready. Its all about making it fun and including them as much as possible.




  
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