Very often you will see kids today with their noses touching the screen of a tablet or a phone. While this may all develop children's fascination and curiosity, as a parent, you actually lose quality time with them. It's the holidays, and you're back home. It's the perfect time to share your love for analogue photography.
Why use a film camera and not digital, one would ask. Remember that a child's mind is open. He/She is ever curious, and with film photography, you're not just teaching your child how to use a camera. You're teaching him/her how to see the world. You're teaching your young beloved how to be empathetic by developing art. You're teaching him/her the rare virtue of patience. Most of all, you're teaching your kid how to find the fun and joy of learning. Now that's quite a Christmas anecdote to tell, don't you think?
Worry not, Lomographer parents. We have an easy five-step guide on how you can do this:
1. Print magic: show, don't tell
Revive the charm of a printed, physical photograph by getting him/her into it. The easiest way you can make your child fall in love with photography and the printed image itself is to introduce him early to instant photography. This is a guarantee they'll definitely look forward to using a camera. Now load up that Lomo'Instant with a fresh cartridge!
2. Keep it simple with equipment
Now, just because we mentioned film photography doesn't actually mean you have to lend your kid your LC-A or rare TLR (you can, but that depends on you). Most children have too playful, clumsy hands, and your goal in teaching your child film photography is so that he may also see the beauty in it, and what you love about it. The simple joy of clicking the shutter is all that actually matters to them.
If you're on the test-run for child's interest in photography, give him the Simple-Use Film Camera. He/she will definitely love the Lomo'Chrome Purple variation. If the child shows interest, you can definitely upgrade his or her camera. Read #3.
3. Wear the kid gloves when explaining basics of analogue photography
We adults like to talk about the complicated things -- such as 'is street photography dead', or 'why your images suck', debating who is the photographer and who isn't. But when dealing with your child, you have to simplify things. Kids are visual. When teaching about basic lighting, settings, or some framing techniques, it's best you prepare a written or printed glossary of terms. Yes, you may use the technical terms as is, like "the rule of thirds" or "aperture". It's best they learn the words early than euphemizing it. Explain thoroughly. To not overwhelm your child, the Fisheye camera will fit perfectly for his/her small hands while giving him the full potential of an adult photographer.
4. Experiment and expect mistakes
Kids love to see unique things. They crave for visuals, and are ever curious. Introduce them to various angles and demonstrate some poses to on how to take them, you can even amplify the surrealism with the Fisheye. However, do take note that while your child may have developed the eye, they will make mistakes. Lots of them.
5. Take a LomoWalk: teaching visual storytelling
You know what that means -- go for a photowalk (especially if it's snowing in your area). As a photographer, you yourself should know that the most interesting things are found outdoors. Take him to the park, this is the perfect opportunity to teach him visual storytelling. This is how you can teach him how to find his subject, and how he can focus on it. The Actionsampler or Oktomat are great choices for this since kids usually fixate on one subject for quite a long time. They'll have fun with the unique storyboard-like outcome too. Maybe you can get them to shoot a portrait for you!
Remember that the point of teaching your child film photography isn't to shape him into a young Ansel Adams-in-the-making. It's sharing and enjoying what you love about film photography with your young one. Make the last days of 2017 count with this one-of-a-kind experience.