“No, really, I’ll be careful with it. Really, I will.”
— Every Kid On The Planet
So, your middle-schooler wants to take up photography… SUPER! Couldn’t be better! Photography is a great growth tool:
- Intellectually — there will always be more to learn cuz if you don’t learn something new, every day, then you’re just not paying attention,
- Emotionally — I don’t think I need to expand on this one,
- Physically — they’ll get out of the house and exercise their legs and not their thumbs,
- Hand/Eye Coordination — again, speaks for itself,
- Artistic Eye / Appreciation / Vision — necessary to the development of a well-rounded self.
I’ve got good news… and bad. First, the good. We’re digital now so you won’t need to buy endless rolls of film. The bad? You still need to buy your Kiddo a good First Real Camera. Hey, more good news! You don’t need to go overboard here. Kiddo is at the bottom of the learning curve, no need to overwhelm ‘em. There are plenty of good, affordable entry level choices out there.
Before you delve too deeply into this, consider your child’s personality and temperament. Is Kiddo an active, get-out-there-and-just-do-it type? Or maybe a bit more of a brainiac; more inclined to want to know how things work? Is your child into Facebook and Twitter, always wanting to be ‘social’ and sharing? These sorts of assessments will guide your equipment choices.
In any case, first you will want to ignite in your child a keen interest in the end result. That being the idea of photography, of reproducing — or creating — images that tell stories or carry emotions. Your child will need a tool to help them achieve this without a ton of… eeuuwww… work. As they develop a keen interest in becoming a Photographer, so will they develop an interest in how to become one; and an interest in more capable equipment.
Now I admit, I am no Equipment Guru, so I need to defer to the experts here. There are a bazillion internet sources for you to research this. But let me get you started with a good article from Adorama’s newsletter. Figure out where Kiddo sits on the equipment issue and you’ll be steps ahead in finding age- and personality-appropriate cameras.
A side note here concerning what focus (yes, pun intended) Kiddo’s photography will take. Encourage your budding photographer to shoot anything and everything. To carry the camera everywhere. To try shooting architecture, portraits, animals, plants, textures, mechanical, food, bugs, stars, fireworks, motion, sports, landscapes, pets, close-up, far-away, cityscapes, countrysides, still life, studio set-ups, storms, clouds… and yes, even Selfies; there is something to be learned from every shot taken. Soon Kiddo will start to discover a photographic preference developing (yes, intended, again!) and will start to hone the skills to excel at that chosen endeavor.
Thank You for visiting,
P.s. So, which camera did you choose? Why? Where did you purchase it? How’s Kiddo doing with it? What genre of photography is Kiddo homing in on? Is Kiddo famous, yet? Go crazy in the comments and let’s compare notes.