Picture Perfect

How to get your child interested in photography

Does your child have a camera of their own or do you have a camera or iPad you are willing to let them use? Or would you love to get more photographs for your family albums but your subjects are not very willing? A photography project is a great activity to do over the summer holidays and easy to get all of the family involved. Time & Leisure Junior spoke to local photographer Rebecca Challis to get some top tips.

I try not to be a total control freak over my family photos (the struggle is real though!!) and I really want my daughter to love photographs and taking them as much as I do.

An easy way to start is to show your child the impact of a widely cropped image with a close up. Show how removing the distractions in foreground and background of an image can make it look so much more appealing. You could try this out by taking a photo of your child or asking them to take one of their toy. Which do they prefer – close up or wide. It also shows the opposite that perhaps showing the whole of the scene is a great way to introduce storytelling into your photographs.

Older kids can be introduced into the rule of thirds (also great for a bit of quick maths!) Cut out a photograph from a magazine or use one of your own and draw two horizontal and two vertical lines to cut each axis into thirds. It is said that the eye is drawn to the crossover points of the lines so try and place your subject (or eyes of a person) on these points for more impact.

A great project (or distraction while you are doing something else) is to get a pile of objects and ask the kids to take 10 really different photos – they can arrange them how they like, close up/filling the frame, flatlay (taking the photo from above), build a scene, give them variety to play with and let their creativity flow! Have a competition for most interesting or colourful image from this group if you have more than one child.

Get your younger kids involved by having a colour or number theme or item that starts with a certain letter. For example they could find five red things, 5 different cars and line them up by size or find a pile of items that start with each letter of their name. Taking photos along the way.

Trick photographs – I love this one as it really forces you to look at other perspectives. Take five photographs each of household objects – then the other person has to guess what they are. Imagine a shower head from below but close up, a blurry photo of a flower or close up of a wooden floor. Quality of the images is not so important here either!

My final tip which in this age of digital images is really important, is to print out some photos! Photobox is a great place to start for loose prints and they send them really quickly. We have a box at home on our coffee table with some snapshots in. You can even make really reasonable books of your projects (try chatbooks) and what a treat for your kids to see their photographs in prints. Our summer holiday project is going to be to take a photo every day then make a book at the end of it. I’m going to let my daughter help with the design too.

For more tips on photography and to see my family photography work see my website on www.rebeccachallisphotography.co.uk