Picture from Cameras Can Give Kids a New View of the World
Giving your child a camera and teaching them to take pictures is one way to help them see the world from a different perspective. Image ©Dollarphoto.com/Konstantin Yuganov

Cameras Can Give Kids a New View of the World

National Geographic Traveler: Magazine announced the winners of its 2015 Traveler Photo Contest this week. Judges sifted through nearly 18,000 photos and narrowed the field to 10 top spectacular winners.

Anuar Patjane’s photo of a humpback whale and her newborn calf off the coast of Mexico took the top prize. You can also browse the other amazing entries submitted this year.

This year’s entries feature remarkable photos taken around the globe but they might also inspire your kids to capture the wonders of their world. Whether you are traveling to some exotic location this summer or enjoying a vacation at home, photography can be a way to help your child notice things in a new way.

Christina N Dickson suggests six ways parents or teachers can help children harness the power of the lens. One of the most important tips is to give kids plenty of time to practice. But that doesn’t always mean going on an outing. Parents can gather random items and have children practice taking pictures of them from different angles and distances. Hosting your own family, neighborhood or classroom photo contest can be another way to encourage children to take pictures.

If handing your expensive camera over to your child makes you nervous (and it probably should), parents can pick up a kid-friendly model. V-Tech and Fisher-Price are two companies that make digital cameras for 2 to 6-year-olds. Older children will likely be able to handle an inexpensive point-and-shoot model.

Photojojo! recommends parents cut a rectangular “viewfinder” out of a cereal box and let your child practice framing “pictures” before handing over the camera. That allows kids to get a sense of how a photo will be different from what they see with their eyes. Once the child becomes familiar with framing a picture, you can teach them how to hold the camera, choose a point of interest, shoot from different angles etc.

While their first attempts won’t be up to the standard of National Geographic, National Geographic Kids website does have a kids section where young photographers can post their best pictures and get tips to improve their skill with the camera.

Who knows? Maybe a future winner of the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest lives in your house right now.