When You Give a Child a Camera…

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“Sit over here!” My daughter directed me. “Now turn this way, no no, like this!”

I tried my best to do as she told me, then watched as she lifted her camera up to her eye.

It was an old film camera I bought years ago at a thrift store, either as a photo prop or a toy, I can’t remember. But it’s one of those toys that we’ve kept around through the years.

Child Photographer Child photographer

After this pretend photoshoot of hers she made a request.

“Mom, think maybe I could get a real camera? One that takes pictures I could see?”

It was hard not to consider her request.

With homeschool just starting I thought it could be a nice gift to kick off the school year and this new adventure of ours.

I asked Canon for recommendations on the best point and shoot camera for kids and narrowed it down to the Powershot ELPH 360 HS and the Powershot D30.

Best camera for kids: Teaching your child photographer.

(My photo and her photo snapped at the same time)

I love the fun colors and wifi capabilities of the other, but ultimately she and I both agreed that the waterproof and shockproof features of the PowerShot D30 outweighed the other options, and withstand any of her little mishaps. Now my little girl is the proud owner of her first very own camera.

So what happens when you give a child a camera?

Lil’ J has brought it with her on our hikes and to each our co-op meetings since then.

Nature hike with kids Austin.

Nature hike with kids Austin

“I brought my camera!” She announced at our first Wild Explorers Club meeting.

The kids were tasked to pack their own adventure packs and inside hers, Lil’ J packed her nature journal, water, a snack, a compass and her camera.

“And it’s waterproof!” she added with pride.

She’s been using it to take photos while we are on our hikes, and then uses those photos later to go by when she’s drawing in her nature journal. Her journal helps her practice handwriting and art and overall observe and pay attention to details.

Best camera for kids: Teaching your child photographer.

(Her photo)

She’s working to improve and she loves showing off her images. When you give your child a camera, you may notice a new sense of excitement and pride in her budding hobby.

Best camera for kids- Canon option

Best camera for kids: Teaching your child photographer.

Best camera for kids: Teaching your child photographer.

It’s been fun showing her how to use it—She’s already learned how to zoom, and turn the flash off and on, and review what she’s shot.

A few beginner tips I’ve given her already:

  • It’s better to zoom with your feet than your fingers to keep your picture steady and not blurry.
  • Try to keep your back to the light so that the light is falling on your subject.
  • When possible, avoid the camera flash, it makes more unnatural-looking shadows. Try to open the blinds to let in more light from the sub for prettier pictures.

Best camera for kids: Teaching your child photographer.

Best camera for kids: Teaching your child photographer.

I love watching what she does with it on her own. There have been a few times she’s come to me asking to borrow my tripod, then gone to record a video of herself and her brother playing with some toys.

My little girl has gone from always being in front of my camera, to pretending to direct her photoshoots, and now taking her own photographs for learning and fun.

When you give your child a camera, new hobbies and dreams may be born and I can’t wait to see what she dreams up next.

And for more photography tips from yours truly, check out my new course: Child’s Play: Simple Tips for Photographing Children.

From birthdays to family vacations, to holidays and more, I’m teaming up with Canon every month to share how we capture our special milestones. I’ll also dish out tips to help you better capture your special moments with your family. Shout out to my favorite camera brand for sponsoring this series.

Best cameras for kids. Canon Powershot D30 Review.

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  1. That photo of the frog (toad?) she took is amazing! You have a little prodigy 🙂
    When my kids were about kindergarten age, we got them a vTech camera… they loved it. Now that they are 5th and 2nd grade, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. My son has been asking lately. I am looking into that camera for my kids. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Lil’ J is becoming quite the photographer. Both of my kids put cameras on their Christmas list this year. For now though they’ve been filming videos and snapping pictures using the iPad and my iPhone. It’s amazing how fast they learn how to use those things.

  3. Lil’ J has serious talent. My girls have been asking for cameras for a while but I think I’d rather have them use an old iPhone or old point an shoot to start off with. If they’re still interested, then I’ll consider getting them one.

    1. I think that’s a good idea! She was using one of my old phones for a while so it had been in the back of my mind then with the start of school I wanted to get her something to kick off this new adventure and it seemed perfect. She has yet to take it in the pool though, which I think she’s dying to do.

  4. I think what you’re doing is really great. Your daughter can maybe find her new talent! Keep up! I guess I should try giving my kids a camera so that they can snap anything they want! They would be happy when doing these things!

  5. I love this idea. Like we can see what are our kids thinking through the camera and maybe after that there will be some gorgeous pics which can totally amaze us.

  6. Looking the surroundings through the lens is much more interesting somehow. Children’s angles are much more different from us. It would be a big surprise if we observe everything from their view. Such a great idea which is to give them an old camera. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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