Give a child a camera and you have given them a time machine that will create wonders and may, at some time in the future, be considered family treasures.
Expect that, at first, the film will just be used quickly in order to see the pictures, but be patient, this will soon be over and selectivity will begin to be shown.
You will undoubtedly be treated to some early shots of grandma as a headless wonder, but these will also be accompanied by some unexpected jewels.
As the young photographer learns more about his or her new hobby and why grandmas head was not in the picture, skills will begin to develop and you will start to see a legend of the world through the eyes of a six-year-old, or whatever age your young photographer is, begin to emerge.
Expect to see more pictures of the family pet than you will see of any other member of the family.
Hey, don’t let it get to you! The kid really doesn’t love the family dog more than he or she loves you, I’m sure of it.
Buy the young photographer an album and fill it with these pictures. Don’t forget to put the date on the back.
You might also want to keep a written journal of your own to include with these pictures when special occasions are observed and are photographically recorded for all posterity.
You may want to consider buying or borrowing from the library a book or books on photography for children and share it or them with the young photographer. If the book or books is/are written for someone older, you can simplify it.
Helping your child to set up a scene with toys can make good shots also. Let him or her see how toy trucks and cars can be set up and photographed in such a way that they look like their full-sized counterparts.
Is there a younger sibling in the family? Read up on taking pictures of babies and small children, then share the tips that you have learned with your young photographer.
Such things as putting a piece of scotch tape on a little one’s finger for example can lead to some fantastic facial expressions, as he or she tries to figure out what has happened and how to get rid of that thing.
Armed with a camera, encouragement, and a little bit of knowledge, your young photographer may be the one to get THAT picture, making it doubly a family treasure.
Getting a child interested in photography, is giving them a gift that may well last them a lifetime.