My daughter has decided she wants to take up photography. She's 10 years old and has a creative mind that I cannot wait to inspire. I have decided to post my journey with her as I teach her. I will share some of her photos as well and hopefully can create a lesson plan to teach her the tricks of the trade. I also want to remember every bit of it and this is a way to give her my memories as they happen. Hopefully she will be able to see herself grow in photography.
This all began on Thanksgiving this year when she decided she wanted to take the camera for a stroll while visiting my mom. I allowed her to take my back-up camera to the pasture. I gave her a few pointers, put the camera in auto mode, and she began snapping away. As she began snapping away I began to slowly teach her the basics of the camera and how to set her shots.
How to hold the camera - keep your elbows at your side close to you, place one hand with your finger on the shutter and the other with your hand under the lens. I taught her that if she places her hand over the lens, she can sometimes create a shadow on her shot that she will not want. Having her elbows at her side close to her allows her to hold the camera securely and prevents any shaking.
How to focus - determine what you want to shoot and center the autofocus light inside the camera on the subject. Halfway press the button to lock the focus. After focus is locked then move the camera to frame your subject as you want others to see it.
Horizontal lines - if you have a photo of a building or the horizon always straighten your shot so those lines are straight in the camera. This way you don't have a tilted perception in the photo but rather a straight pleasing line to the eye.
Clear shot - keep an eye out for distractions in your shot. This one shot in particular that we focused on was a longhorn but there was a bright red feed bucket in the shot. I had her notice what was distracting in the view and get the angle without the feed bucket.
Not always at eye level - the most fun I had was having her think outside of the box and move to different angles. Shooting at eye level can get boring I told her. Everyone sees things at eye level. Not everyone sees things from a lower level or from a top level. I had her practice sitting and shooting up at things as well as shooting down on things. This really opened her eyes to the fun she can have. Once I started this the monster was created and she began thinking of ways to take the photos differently.
Don't center everything - there is such thing as a rule of thirds. I showed her the rule of thirds setting on the camera and to line items up with the points and lines in the rule of thirds rather than centering everything. This one was a tough one because she really wanted to center everything.
It seemed so easy to teach her these few simple things as she was shooting. To my surprise she was really adapting to them and learning as she went.
I also taught her a little about editing her photos once she loaded them into the computer. How to boost the flat raw image that comes out of the camera so that she can make a nice JPEG image to share.
Sevan enjoyed her lesson so much that she decided instead of a compound bow for Christmas she wanted her very own DSLR camera to continue learning. She was so excited about learning that she begged me to take her with me on my next paid shoot. Who am I to deny an assistant on a photo session! ;) I made sure the family didn't mind and I brought Sevan with me to my next paid family session. She loved it! She applied what I taught her already and she did a great job. I can't wait to share our next lesson!