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Learning Laboratory: Photography for Kids

photography for kids

When Emma turned six, I decided it was time to let her have a go at using our real camera. She’s a fairly careful kid, and I think there are a lot of benefits to photography opportunities for kids. Child-captured images capture relationships with a honesty you don’t get when an adult is behind the camera:

sibling relationships captured through kid photography

Emma captures everyday life in a way I would never think to:

everyday life as captured by my kid photographer

She also captures moments that might not happen at all if I were in the room!

life unposed captured by my kid photographer

And each of Emma’s pictures captures her relationship with that particular sibling. Here, two-month-old Anna is talking to her:

photography for kids

I also get to find out what objects are most important to her, since – for the most part – she only photographs people. She was very proud of this seasons project she brought home from school!

letting kids take pictures helps them capture things that are important to them

Most of all, I love that my six-year-old is growing as an artist!

learning laboratory at mama smiles

Learning Laboratory is a space to celebrate the fun, creative, hands-on learning that happens in everyday life. I had two favorite links last week:

I hope you’ll link up your week’s learning! Sharing my button is always appreciated, but not required. It’s also nice to visit other people who link up! By linking up, you give me permission to pin your posts to my Pinterest boards.

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

28 thoughts on “Learning Laboratory: Photography for Kids”

  1. Emma takes great pictures. Interestingly, Anna is almost the opposite and likes to photograph objects, especially, flowers, and not people.

    1. I think Emma’s focus on people is a little unusual for a kid her age. I’m curious to see what Johnny photographs, once I decide he can be trusted with our camera :)

  2. I completely agree, it’s so fun to let the kids have a go with the camera. The moments and things they capture are so great. And with some cameras being so cheap and with everything being digital now, there’s no reason not to.

  3. The kids can use my old camera and have used our old cell phones for cameras. I agree it’s interesting to see what appeals to them.

  4. Those are great! I totally agree. When I got my new camera I entrusted my daughter with mine old one. I love that she thinks to take it on walks, etc.

  5. I still think your Emma is a better photographer than I am – she got some really great shots here!

  6. What fun…and what great pictures! I have a friend who buys her 2 children each a disposable camera when they go on vacation so they can take their own pictures. It’s awesome to see what they capture. My guy isn’t camera-trustworthy yet, so when we’re out I’ll tell him to let me know what he’d like pictures of…from Martha’s Vineyard we have some great shots of flowers, some random bikes in a rack, and boats. Ha!

  7. What a great idea! I should do this with my own kiddo. I think I even have an older digital camera that he can tinker with and I know he’d love.

  8. Elisa | blissfulE

    What a wonderful glimpse of the world through Emma’s eyes! The one with Johnny jumping is my favourite!!! :)

  9. jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa

    Kids love cameras. When I travel to Cambodia the children love to get their hands on our cameras and take pictures of each other. Then they look at themselves in the viewer. It is so sweet.

    MacGyver is saving for a camera. I cannot wait to see another artistic side bloom.

    1. Emma takes videos with our camera, and all three kids sit and watch them play back on the tiny screen. I love it :)

  10. jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa

    Oh, I also wanted to recommend a book on photography for children highlighting famous photographers. It also teaches children about photography. This would be better for a little bit older children.

    Click, Click, Click! Photography for Children by George Sullivan

  11. What a great post! My kiddos love taking photos as well. I love to look back through the digital at all of the shots. There is always something interesting and often times, a funny shot of a sibling or extreme closeup of a nose.

    I think it definitely teaches them creativity and confidence using a different medium.
    Colleen at http://www.sugaraunts.blogspot.com

  12. I think she got some really interesting moments and expressions! She definitely has the knack and the eye :-) Love her clicks….
    My daughter has been very interested in photography, too. She started grabbing my camera ever since she was a little over 2. She used my point-and-shoot left, right center. Now, she uses the DSLR pretty okay. I figured that she has a steady hand..so I could relax without worrying that she’d drop it. This Diwali we’re gifting her a camera of her own….
    Photography definitely presents a lot of learning opportunities for children. Most of all, it lets them express their own view of the world and their own perspective.

  13. My son (3) loves to break out his camera and we go on photo scavenger hunts it’s a great way for him to learn shapes colors letters numbers etc. He loves it and I get to have fun teaching him about something I am passionate about as well

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