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10 Beginning Photography Tips for Kids (and Adults)

by TerriAnn
These ten beginning photography tips for kids are fantastic! They really helped my child to improve her smartphone photography skills, even now as a teen. Point #5 is especially good photography help for adults too.

From a young age, my daughter showed interest in taking digital photographs. Though Frans and I are by no means professional photographers, we can at least take decent photos and have done our best to help her improve. Over the years, she has gotten so much better and is actually quite creative when it comes to her never-ending camera roll of nature and our dog.

These ten beginning photography tips for kids are fantastic! They really helped my child to improve her smartphone photography skills, even now as a teen. Point #5 is especially good photography help for adults too.

10 Beginning Photography Tips for Kids

Starting around the ages of seven or eight, your child might start looking to you for REAL approval, not just a head nod and an obligatory “Good Job!” That’s when you can start with the following suggestions. D

  1. Take a lot of photos.
    Practice makes perfect and the great thing about digital photography is that it’s pretty much free. No more developing a whole roll of before finding out 90% are blurry and 10% feature feet. The more opportunities a child has to take photos, the more they will enjoy life through a lens and cherish those moments.
  2. Think about what you’re actually taking a photo of.
    If they have no clear subject or intention in mind, the photo will be boring and generic. Just telling them to have a focal point or purpose will make a major difference in their approach to photography.
  3. Pay attention to the background.
    If you tell them to focus on one thing, kids automatically overlook everything else. It’s good to get them in the habit of checking for people or unkept mess in the background. Notice how her photography is more deliberate and how she now takes several factors into account (both unedited).

10 Beginning Photography Tips for Kids – Comparison

  1. Keep fingers off the lens.
    Sometimes, children don’t know where to put those little fingers of theirs. Show them exactly where the lens is so they learn not to put fingers on or near it.
  2. Make sure the lens is clean.
    This is especially important with smartphone cameras as it’s quite easy to get fingerprints on the lens. Remind your child to wipe off the lens (with a soft cotton or microfiber cloth) before taking photos. Otherwise, all their photos will have a fuzzy haze over them.
  3. Check the lighting.
    More light will make for better photos. Have kids avoid taking photos in dark corners inside. In case of glare or bright backlight, have them slightly tilt their phone at a angle or to focus on a different object to adjust light exposure.
  4. You can always crop.
    It’s better to back up for a wider view of a scene and then crop it later. A camera or smartphone with a lot of megapixels gives you more freedom with this. The Sony Xperia Z3v can take 20 megapixel photos, allowing you to zoom in and still retain fine details. An example of this is below (same photo, both unedited but one is cropped). This is much better than a close up capture with heads and arms cut off.

10 Beginning Photography Tips for Kids – Sony Xperia Z3v sample of dog in rain with raindrops on nose

10 Beginning Photography Tips for Kids – Sony Xperia Z3v sample of dog in rain with raindrops on nose, zoom

  1. Play with editing tools.
    There are a number of free photo editing apps on every iOS, Android, or Windows phone. Even standalone digital cameras have software to place photos in funny backgrounds (like a bus stop billboard or magazine cover). These help kids develop some creativity in their photos by experimenting with colors, filters, text, and overlays.
  2. Try different angles.
    A new angle can make all the difference. Encourage kids to move around, tilt the camera, focus on certain details, change the focus, and see which shots they like better
  3. Tell a story and capture a “moment.”
    Photography can be a fantastic way to enjoy and remember life as it is in right then. Plus, it gets them engaged with whatever situation they’re in and wherever that might be.

Instilling a Love for Photography

In helping a child to take good photos, it’s important to not inundate a child with all the things they’re doing wrong. Instead, commend them when possible and then maybe suggest one point at a time to work on. When they show a good understanding of one concept, move on to another. In time, they’ll figure out their favorite type(s) of photography (i.e. landscapes, abstract, portraits, etc.) and develop their own style. After a while, he or she might even take better photos than you.

I received a product for review as part of the #VZWBuzz Lifestyle Ambassador program. All opinions are my own.

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Penelope February 18, 2015 - 10:53 am

These are great tips! For adults too!

Kait February 18, 2015 - 6:19 pm

I agree. This are great tips for anyone too!!

Tammy February 18, 2015 - 11:09 pm

I could certainly remember to do #9 (the first one) – Make sure the lens is clean. I bet a lot of my phone pictures look less than great because of a dirty lens!

TerriAnn van Gosliga February 19, 2015 - 12:06 am

Ooh! Thank you for pointing that out! I forgot to change the number for the list to start at. Now it’s just point number 5 😛

Valerie Remy-Milora February 19, 2015 - 2:13 pm

These are all great tips! I love how digital cameras can really empower kids. The immediate feedback they get is such a gift.My 7 year old is also quite fond of taking pictures and already shows a really goos eye 🙂

Crystal February 19, 2015 - 2:43 pm

I love this! I try to share my passions with my children, and photography is one of them. Do you have any recommendations for cameras for kids? Its nerve racking handing over my DSLR.

Donna February 19, 2015 - 8:02 pm

What great tips for kids (and maybe us big kids) to help kids become good photographers! My son hasn’t really shown much of an interest, but I would like to encourage him. My b-i-l is an amazing photographer, so it may be in his genes if he took some time with it.

Raijean February 19, 2015 - 9:18 pm

I love this, my son wants to get in to photography. This will help.

Jenn February 20, 2015 - 6:53 pm

These are great tips for all photographers.

vanessa: BriteandBubbly February 20, 2015 - 7:28 pm

These are some great tips and it’s great to get kids interested in something when they are young.

HilLesha February 20, 2015 - 8:28 pm

I developed a love for photography at a very young age, so it’s never too early to start. These are wonderful tips, plus your daughter is a fantastic photographer!

Ty February 20, 2015 - 9:09 pm

These are some wondrous tips! I wish my kids were into photography, but they like drawing better.

Andrea Kruse February 21, 2015 - 6:19 pm

What a fabulous gift to give your daughter! I love the photos she took and her progression. My son is just starting to show interest and I have been showing him more about how my camera works.

Matea February 22, 2015 - 2:44 am

My son loves to play with camera. He is only three but some of his photos look great. I will teach him what I had read here, thanks.

Tisha Berg | Biz Mommy February 22, 2015 - 11:57 pm

I love downloading picture editing apps for my kids because they so enjoy taking lots of photos on my phone and ipad. They like using the camera too, but the mobile devices are their usual preference.

Homeschool Through the Year: June May 12, 2016 - 5:24 pm

[…] 10 Beginning Photography Tips for Kids at Cookies and Clogs […]

Ivan April 3, 2017 - 1:42 am

Thank you Terriann. Simple and great tips. And very well illustrated as well. Your daughter’s photography skills progress 2011-2015 are an inspiration !

Ngawang February 2, 2018 - 10:22 pm

Good Tips.

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