So you have joined the millions of families with children that have decided to go digital? It’s almost impossible these days not to, but teaching your child how to use their digital camera can be another adventure in itself. It doesn’t have to be rocket science though. Using a digital camera (assuming that you purchased a kid friendly one) doesn’t have to be hard at all. Here are some pretty basic ideas on using a digital camera and how to teach your kids.
Lesson #1: Teach your children to experiment with their camera
The best way to learn about something is by trial and error. The nice thing about digital cameras is that you can take as many pictures as you want and just erase the ones you don’t want. Teach them to use different perspectives by shooting pictures from down low, and shooting them up high. Show them how to use the zoom so they can experiment with wide angled shots, and close ups. And lastly, show them how to experiment with the different settings of their camera. Experimentation is the best way to learn.
Lesson #2: Background check
Using a digital camera requires the same elements as using a non digitized camera. In all camera shots you want to make sure that your background (or what’s behind the picture you’re taking) is free from clutter and distracting objects. This will always take away from the picture itself. So this lesson comes before you actually begin teaching your child how to use the camera. They need to learn that if they want the best picture they can get, to look for clean shots.
Lesson #3: Holding the Camera
Most of the bad camera shots are made because the person taking the picture isn’t holding the camera right. In most cases with kids, it’s because they’re fingers are in the way, or the carrying strap is dangling in front of the lens. Luckily with digital cameras kid can check the LCD screen to make sure nothing’s blocking the picture they want. Teach them to check the screen before taking a picture to make sure fingers, and other objects are not blocking the picture. Make sure the camera is straight and they have a good hold on it before they take the picture. This will give them a clear, shake free picture; one they can keep for years
Lesson #4: The Zoom and Flash features
Probably the most important thing to teach your child in using their digital camera is using the zoom button and the flash. Why is it so important? Well, it’s not if they don’t care what their pictures look like. But if they’re old enough to understand that the beauty of taking pictures is being able to tell what’s in them, then teaching them how to use a flash and zoom can be an important lesson to teach. Help them understand and see how the picture changes when you zoom in and out, and show them how and when to use the flash.
Lesson #5: Using different modes and exposure settings
An important lesson for any child discovering their new digital camera is learning how the different modes and exposures work. This is not as necessary with younger children, but as they get older they will want you to show them what all those cool modes do. What does the “sports, portrait, and macro” words mean. And how do the exposure settings change the picture. Take some time each day and teach them one at a time. Read the instruction manual with them and then go out and experiment with the different modes and exposure settings.
Digital cameras can be somewhat overwhelming and confusing for adults to operate; imagine how your child will feel. Although they are excited and may pick up things much faster than we do, you will still need to take time in teaching your child how to use their digital camera so they can get the most out of their purchase.