Hand your child the camera

by Jessi Weithman Posted on June 30, 2011

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Ever wonder what the world looks like through the eyes of a 4 year old? There is a fun and easy way to find out. Hand over the camera!

The essential tips for this experiment are first to be sure the little photographer is interested in photography. The day I finally handed my guy a camera was the day he spent the entire afternoon asking me to take a certain picture, show it to him and then snap another to meet his criteria of a good picture. Next, be sure the camera has a strap and is attached securely to your little photographer. Set the camera to automatic. Explain the rules of not touching the lens, of framing the image in the screen and of pushing the big button. Encourage and let your little photographer snap away. It is okay if they fill up the card in 5 minutes. Really it is! Keep it simple, and watch your little photographer go to work. Capturing a picture of your little one with camera gripped in hands is a must!

During the final 20 minutes of our last outing to the zoo, I let my son use my point and shoot camera with a watchful eye. I’m so glad I did. It was so fun watching him explore the world, snapping away and setting up shots. Having learned from my example, he started with pictures of everyone’s feet (See my previous article on snapping feet).

It was also so cute watching him try to convince his little brother to slow down, turn around and smile for the camera. He finally gave up on his brother, and set up his little toy komodo dragon and alligator at each exhibit snapping a shot of each.

He grabbed a fun combination of shots of the polar bear, including the one of fur pressed up the glass. He was extra excited about that image of bear fur.

He stopped and took a picture of the big alligator sculpture, but since the tail is the coolest snapped from that direction.

And even insisted on a rare picture of his parents together. Not the best focus in the world on this shot… but look a picture of us! So few of those.

I’m so excited for many more outings with my new photography buddy!

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  1. Joey Says:

    How fun Jessi to have yur son take a stab at taking pictures. It is fun seeing what they capture and what is appealing to them. The one of you and your husband is very cute and i love the one of him with the camera in his hands and looking so determined. He is off to a great start! Fun article Jessi!

  2. BarbaraJ Says:

    This is adorable. I love this idea and all the fun for the child also. I had never done this because I am afraid they will drop my camera. I have purchased all our eight and nine year olds cameras for Christmas. They love them.

  3. conniee4 Says:

    Funny, I saw the title and then saw you wrote it. I thought to myself…WOW she handed over her 5D? hahaha……

    Your son’s pics are awesome! He has a great teacher!

  4. AnnAbbott Says:

    Great shots! My son has the picture bug! His new DSi hand held gaming system has a camera and small editing program and now he is hooked after just two weeks. It was great seeing him tell his big sister at her birthday party to pose because he “had to get a picture of this”!

  5. shannonr Says:

    my 5 year old has his own “kids” camera and every now and then he will ask to take pictures on mine; I love looking throughing the pics when he is done. The images aren’t always great but the words they speak are amazing. My son took a pic of me the other day and totally chopped of my head, the picture was so funny because the heading I put on it when i posed was “mom had a bad hair day”….LOL. Kids and cameras are worth a thousand words. Great article.

  6. petiam Says:

    My daughter too has a kiddie camera, but she always asks for mine. I let her use my old point-and-shoot and I have to say she’s gotten some ridiculously good shots (I’ve used them in my photo books!!!). It’s so much fun to see her face when she gets to snap something interesting to her… I LOVE it!!! Love this article!

more about Jessi Weithman

I love being a mom! I adore my boys, and take too many pictures of them... this I know. While I flirted with photography for many years, the day my oldest son was born was the day my passion for photography was fully charged. I started taking pictures of my friends little ones and now run a small professional photography business called Everyday Studios. I love working with families to help preserve memories in the form of albums and artwork. Jessi Weithman jessi.weithman at gmail.com blog.everydaybabystudios.com PS. Many people ask about my equipment... I'm a Canon girl.

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