Tag Archives: 9 Things To Tell Kids

9 Things To Tell Your Kids About Photography

We had a great morning today at West Hills Middle School in Bloomfield Hills, MI for career day!  We presented to two separate groups of 8th graders about a career in photography and it was so much fun.  The kids had really great and thoughtful questions, and it got me thinking that I should share some things to tell your kids about photography just as we did today.

9 Things To Tell Your Kids About Photography

1.  Getting an expensive camera isn’t the only route to becoming a great photographer.  It can certainly help, but it’s not enough.  If you are truly motivated and it’s in your heart you can hone your skills and become pretty good with almost any camera.  Having the most advanced medical equipment wouldn’t make you the best doctor and having a $100 football doesn’t make you a great quarterback.  I’d rather have a great person I connect with with a good eye and a $75 camera (or even an iPhone for that matter) take my picture than an arrogant know-it-all jerk with a $10,000 camera.   Now keep in mind I won’t want to enlarge an iPhone photo and put it on my wall – you will certainly be limited by a cheap camera and you probably will never be able to call yourself a professional photographer with a basic digital point and shoot camera, but equipment isn’t everything.  It’s pretty important (eventually it becomes really important), but it’s not everything.

2.  Being a great photographer only comes with experience so just start shooting.  Get out there!  Learn what photos you like to take the most, experiment and find your style.  If you like portraits take your friend or your sibling to a park.  If you like landscapes or wildlife go to a nature preserve.  Inspiration is available all around you.

3.  Being a great photographer only comes with knowledge so don’t only start shooting.  Learn how to use your camera.  Read the manual (crazy right?).  Learn about lighting.  Learn about posing.  Learn about editing – kids can play with cropping and basic post production techniques with programs as simple as iPhoto.  It’s not too early to start to appreciate the craft behind becoming an accomplished photographer.

4.  Be aware of what you share online.  This doesn’t mean don’t participate and be terrified of the Internet.  It does mean be aware of how you represent yourself, how mistakes can hurt you, and the power of enhancing your life and making connections with social media.  Social media is obviously very visual and images can be very powerful in good and bad ways.  If you are a musician you can post links to your music or you can stream it on soundcloud, if you are a sculptor you can post a picture of your sculpture but it might not do it justice, but if you are a photographer your work is ON facebook if you post it there and it shows up in people’s news feeds – bam.  Instagram is built on photos.  It is critical that your kids understand the reach of these platforms – how they can use them to their advantage but also the dangers of posting something foolish and opening up their private lives to the whole world if they aren’t careful.  Social media is here to stay and we’ve used it to build our business so it’s important to become savvy online – it will continue to get tougher to thrive without it.  The 8th graders we met with will be able to take a whole course on social media when they get to high school next year.

5.  Taking pictures for a living can give you a ton of freedom but it won’t happen right away.  The allure of being your own boss can be strong for an artist.  Whether you want to own a studio, be a freelance photographer or photojournalist you may be the type that marches to the beat of your own drum.  For me I know that working in the corporate environment and having a boss was a nightmare.  I much prefer having my own business, but I know we would not have been able to pull it off if we hadn’t had plenty of experience in the workforce learning how business works (and how it doesn’t work).  I don’t think it’s the best advice to tell a youngster to plan on never working for someone else – to go from graduating from school straight to —–> business owner.  Just my opinion…  We see a lot of photographers fail because they don’t respect and learn the business of photography.

6.  Taking pictures is extremely rewarding and a worthy pursuit!!!  This holds true for professionals and amateurs.  Taking pictures is expression, it’s connection, it’s celebration, it’s history, it’s emotion, it’s a moment, it’s flat out fun.  Kids love to snap and share pictures.  Instagram selfies, facebook profiles, snapchat, tumblr – this is how they connect and express themselves.  What an outlet!  It’s a fun byproduct of technology that some old school photographers can’t understand and they lament how it’s devaluing what real pros are doing.  We feel it’s the opposite – the more people appreciate pictures the more they’ll appreciate good pictures.  We never discourage youngsters from having fun with photography.  We embrace this new culture and here is a funny example of a guest post I wrote for another blog where I discussed ideas for good content on Facebook for photography studios.  Look in the comments where some angry old school photographer chimed in and just ripped me apart for validating these fun new forms of expression.

7.  Find mentors and ask questions.  Go to a local studio.  Go to a local independent camera store.  All of us pros started somewhere and there were photographers who helped us along the way.

8.  You aren’t too young to subscribe to blogs and websites like Peta Pixel where you can learn a ton.  There are a lot of sites like this one with tips and examples of new and creative photos.  We share many articles that stand out on our facebook page as well.  In addition to gaming or surfing silly videos on YouTube maybe your kids can mix in a few of these – they might find plenty they like.

9.  Think about the businesses you love and why.  Whether it’s a certain ice cream shop, or a clothing store, or a gaming store, or some other specialty store, think about why you like them.  Kids are consumers – they can learn from the businesses they like if they are paying attention and it can shape the kind of business people they can be.  If you are a photographer of people you will want to treat your people the way you like to be treated as a customer.  These are simple lessons that shouldn’t be lost on kids.

I hope these help!  Feel free to chime in or even better have your child chime in – if you’re local stop by and visit!  We would be happy to answer questions.

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Frameable Faces Photography
Frameable Faces Photography is a small biz retail mom & pop shop of Doug&Ally Cohen located in the Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield, Michigan, United States Of America!
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