Fun photo challenges for kids

5 fun photography challenges for kids

I’ve always loved taking photos, going back to the days of basic point and shoot film cameras and the excitement of waiting weeks for the photos to be developed.

So it makes me really happy when my children get excited about photography too.

Nerys in particular is showing a real interest at the moment, so I’ve been thinking about fun activities we can do to really capture her curiosity and creativity with photography.

If you’d like to encourage your child’s interest in photography too, then here are 5 ideas for fun photography challenges you could do with them.

 

Photo scavenger hunts

This is a great idea for a photography challenge that you can either do at home or out and about in the fresh air.

All you need to do is give your child a list of items to find and then photograph.  You can keep it simple and get them to photograph each item as they find them, or you could get them to be more creative and use different angles and perspectives with each thing they find.

For older children you can use prompts that are more open-ended for things for them to find and photograph.  There are some brilliant ideas for this sort of hunt in this post from Holly Made Life – Lockdown photography treasure hunt.

If you don’t have time to come up with a list of things for your child to find, then try getting them to photograph things that start with each letter of the alphabet.  Or if that’s too many photos, try each letter of their name.

 

Photo walks

A really lovely way to enjoy photography together is to go on a photo walk with your child.

You can keep it simple and challenge them to photograph anything that they find interesting, or pretty, or that simply catches their eye.

Or you can make it a bit harder and try and find things in each colour of the rainbow to photograph.  Or things that are different shapes, or that look like letters or numbers.

 

Making rainbows

This idea from Donna at What the Redhead Said is another creative photo challenge that is great fun to do at home.

Get your child to gather as many items as they can from around the house that are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple and then arrange them in a rainbow and photograph the end result.

 

Photograph shadows

If your child loves looking at things a bit differently then they’ll love this challenge.

Get them to take photos of various things, but only actually photographing their shadows.  They could photograph their own shadows, and then the whole family’s shadows.

You could make shadow puppets for them to photograph.

They can set up their toys in front of a window and photograph the shadows they each make.

Older children might really enjoy taking self portraits with shadow effects, like holding a piece of lace up to cast a patterned shadow on their face.

 

Try ‘a day in the life’

This last photograph challenge is a really lovely one to get to see your child’s perspective on the world.

Let them have access to a camera throughout the day and tell them to photograph things as they happen.  Don’t restrict them at all, just let them capture what they find interesting and worthy of photographing throughout their day.

If your child does need a bit more structure to the challenge then get them to take a photo on the hour, every hour of the day.

I do a version of this challenge each month, and I love looking back at the photos.  Even though, at the time, it can feel like the photos I’m taking are almost boring, with mundane everyday activities captured, they take on a whole new meaning and value as the years go by.

And it’ll be even more meaningful to look back at the everyday parts of life that your child captures with a project like this.

 

 

Hopefully these ideas have sparked your creativity and will get your child having even more fun with photography.

Which do you think you’ll try first?

#ShowYouWereThere round up

Show You Were There – May round up

It’s Sunday, it’s the end of the month, and it’s time for another #ShowYouWereThere round up.

In case you’ve not heard of it before, Show You Were There is my little Instagram community all about getting more parents in more photos, both with and for their children.  If you want to get involved then all you need to do is use #ShowYouWereThere on any photos that feature you in some way, I’d love to see more people joining in!

 

My first choice for this month’s round up is from Laura at Laura’s lovely blog.

It’s a gorgeous photo of Laura, and I love how her family managed to make her birthday so special during lockdown.

 

The second photo that I’ve chosen for this month’s round up is from Nicola at Mummy to Dex.

It’s such a lovely summery photo, and the news that Nicola shared with it about being able to change her hours at work sounds brilliant for her and her family.

 

Next up is this lovely picture from Sabrina at The Mummy Stylist.

The light in this photo is just gorgeous, and I love Sabrina’s caption that talks about how lockdown has given her extra time with her family, and a bit of a new perspective on how much the little things in life matter.

 

My final pick for this month’s round up is from Sue at Life starts after coffee.

This mother/daughter photo just really made me smile, what more can I say?!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAQe8qMlyWD/

 

Thank you so much to everyone who is using #ShowYouWereThere, I love seeing your photos popping up over on Instagram, they always make me smile so much.

Now my turn.

We went down to the beach a few days ago for a walk and the first paddle in the sea of the year.  It was so warm and sunny, it just felt amazing to have our feet in the water, and it made me so grateful that we live where we do.

 

If you’d like to join in with my little community and possibly be featured in my next round up (with a nice link back to your blog!) then just share a photo of yourself over on instagram using #ShowYouWereThere.  It’s all about getting more parents in more photos and I’d love to see as many people as possible jumping in front of the camera more

_Easy and fun ideas for photo walks with children

Fun ideas for photo walks with children

I pretty much always take a camera with me when we go out for walks as a family, even if it’s just the one on my phone.

I really love photographing the children and what they get up to when we’re out and about, as well as stopping to take pictures of any plants or flowers or other pretty things that catch my eye.

But I don’t think I’d ever intentionally gone out on what I would call a ‘photo walk’ until the other day.

The difference really is that the main purpose of a photo walk is to pay that bit more attention to your surroundings and find interesting things to photograph.

Nerys and I both did a photo walk like this on a recent family outing to the park and it made the trip out something really fun, and just that little bit more special.

 

Nerys started off using her kidizoom camera, but quite quickly got frustrated with it because she couldn’t see the screen properly in the bright sunlight.  Luckily I’d popped our compact Nikon camera in my bag so let her switch and use that instead.

She’s used it a few times in the house so was up and running (figuratively, not literally!) with it really quickly.

You can let your child use whatever camera you have available, whether that’s their own child-friendly ‘first camera’, an old point and shoot, your dslr if you can trust them with it, or the phone on your camera.

 

There are so many ways you can enjoy a photo walk with your children, but here are my top suggestions:

 

Go rainbow spotting

This is a great way to make a walk more fun if you’re limited to walking around your neighbourhood rather than in an open green space.

Keep an eye out for all the rainbows you can see that people have made and stuck up in their windows.

This is something that Nerys and I did on our photo walk and we both really enjoyed it.

We tend to look out for these rainbows anyway when we’re out and about but it was so much fun to really make a point of spotting them and photographing them all.

 

Find things in each colour of the rainbow to make a photo collage at the end

Along with spotting the rainbows in people’s windows we also photographed things we found in each colour of the rainbow on our photo walk.

It really made us so much more mindful of everything around us, looking for all sorts of different things that were rainbow colours.

At this time of year it was easy to find green things in the local park, but orange things were a bit trickier and we had to get a bit more creative to find things to photograph in that colour.

What I love about this idea is that when you get home you can put all the photos together to make a rainbow photo collage.  Here are the collages I made from the photos that Nerys and I took on our walk.

 

Take photos of different shapes

Depending on where you go on your walk it might be a bit tricky to find things in all the colours of the rainbow to photograph, so you could try doing different shapes instead.

It might seem hard at first, but once you really start looking you’ll end up finding shapes all over the place.

I used to play shape-spotting with Rhys when he was a toddler and you end up seeing all sorts of things that you don’t normally notice, right down to the different shaped drain covers on the floor!

 

Photograph each other in different locations

This idea is one that would work well for children of all ages.

Basically you’re looking out for different, fun, pretty, unique locations on your walk to take portraits of each other.

If you have little ones then you can get some really fun photos of them in different places that you wouldn’t normally think of taking photos.

And if you have older children you can get them to take a series of different photos of you with fun and interesting backdrops, and you can do the same for them to share with their friends or on social media if they’re old enough.

 

Find different perspectives

If you want to get a bit more technical and work on photography skills, then you can use a photo walk as a chance to explore different compositional skills and shooting from different perspectives with your child.

As you walk together make a point of looking up high, and down low to see what interesting pictures you can take.

Get right up under some trees and shoot up into the branches and leaves.

 

Steve took these behind the scenes photo of me and Nerys, and then here is the photo she took as a result of me showing her how to shoot straight up into the leaves.

 

You can also get up slightly higher than normal and shoot a bird’s eye view of the flowers on the ground.

Another idea is to encourage your child to get creative by challenging them to photograph the same object from a few different angles and perspectives.  Get them to photograph it from really close up so it fills the frame, then back away a bit and use the rule of thirds to create a completely different image.

 

Once you get started with photo walks you’ll start noticing so many different things to take pictures of.

You can set a theme for each walk, or just see what captures your attention once you’re out.  And when you do this with your children you’ll spark their creativity, teach them a great skill and have so much fun together along the way!

 

This post is linked up with KCACOLS.

#ShowYouWereThere round up

Show You Were There – April round up

It’s Sunday, it’s almost the end of the month, and it’s time for another #ShowYouWereThere round up.

In case you’ve not heard of it before, Show You Were There is my little Instagram community all about getting more parents in more photos, both with and for their children.  If you want to get involved then all you need to do is use #ShowYouWereThere on any photos that feature you in some way, I’d love to see more people joining in!

 

My first choice for this month’s round up is from Kirsty.

I just love how bright and light this photo is, along with the caption that is so simple and sweet.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_NF-yBhPYZ/

 

The second photo that I’ve chosen for this month’s round up is from Mary at Over 40 and Mum to One.

I really love photos like this that have a creative slant on getting in front of the camera!

 

Next up is this gorgeous family photo from Laura at Dear Bear and Beany.

Laura’s girls always have such big, beautiful smiles in her photos, they always make me smile too!

 

My final pick for this month’s round up is from Chloe at Just the Three of Us, it sort of sums up some of the craziness of the situation we’re all in at the moment to me!

 

Thank you so much to everyone who is using #ShowYouWereThere, I love seeing your photos popping up over on Instagram, they always make me smile so much.

Now my turn.

We went out for a walk/scoot round the park for Rhys’ birthday, and I got Steve to take this photo for me part way round.  It’s only just hitting me that the children are 6 and 9 now, it feels like it’s crept up on me!

 

If you’d like to join in with my little community and possibly be featured in my next round up (with a nice link back to your blog!) then just share a photo of yourself over on instagram using #ShowYouWereThere.  It’s all about getting more parents in more photos and I’d love to see as many people as possible jumping in front of the camera more

#ShowYouWereThere round up

Show You Were There – February round up

I know February is a short month, but this just feels a bit ridiculous.  Thanks to the way the days and weeks have fallen today is the last Sunday of the month so I’m posting my round up for Show You Were There, and it just feels so soon after writing January’s.

In case you’ve not heard of it before, Show You Were There is my little Instagram community all about getting more parents in more photos, both with and for their children.  If you want to get involved then all you need to do is use #ShowYouWereThere on any photos that feature you in some way, I’d love to see more people joining in!

 

My first choice for this month’s round up is from Lauren at Scrapbook Blog.

Some of my favourite photos of my husband and our children are ones like this, taken from behind with them walking away, so this one from Lauren just jumped out at me in my Insta feed.

 

The second photo that I’ve chosen for this month’s round up is from Donna at What the Redhead Said.

It’s just such a lovely photo, taken on what sounded like a really lovely day out.  And how amazing are the children’s hats?!

 

Next up is this beautifully coordinated family photo from Leah at Home Family Life.

I just love how all her boys look in their matching outfits!

 

My final pick for this month’s round up is from Mary at Over 50 and a Mum to One.

I love that Mary and her son have this special spot, and that they made a point of taking a photo together there!

 

Thank you so much to everyone who is using #ShowYouWereThere, I love seeing your photos popping up over on Instagram, they always make me smile so much.

Now my turn.

A few weeks ago we took a very windy walk along the beach with the children.

While we were there I got Steve to take quite a few photos of me, so that I could use them for my photography business.  What I love is that along with the photos I specifically asked for, he took lots of other shots too, so I had a big selection to choose from and great photos like this one just to make me smile.

 

If you’d like to join in with my little community and possibly be featured in my next round up (with a nice link back to your blog!) then just share a photo of yourself over on instagram using #ShowYouWereThere.  It’s all about getting more parents in more photos and I’d love to see as many people as possible jumping in front of the camera more.

Great photos of your children less stress

Take the stress out of getting great photos of your children

I love taking photos of my children.

It’s one of my favourite things to do; capturing their childhoods on camera.  But that’s not to say it’s not stressful at times.  You can bet that when I really want to get some great photos of them they just won’t be in the mood.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who finds it stressful at times to get great photos of their children, so hopefully these tips will help both me and you to make the process easier and more fun for everyone.

 

Let your children feel in control

One of the reasons that our children don’t cooperate with our plans is that they don’t feel like they have any say in what’s happening.

We all like to feel in control, and when it comes to have their photo taken then it’s only fair really to let our children have some say in things.

So lets say you’re planning on having a little photo session with your children.

Give them choices for what they’ll wear that day.  Let them show you some poses they want to do, before you ask them to sit or stand a certain way.  Make them creative directors for the day and work with them to get the photos you really want.

 

Make it a fun adventure and let them play

Things will be much easier for everyone if you make your photo session into a little adventure.

Pick somewhere not too far from home like the park, local wood or beach if you live by the coast and get your children to do something like see what natural treasures they can find.  Let them run, jump and explore.

You can photograph these adventures and capture some really lovely memories.

Direct your children gently

When it comes to photographing children you really need to let go of any ideas of perfection.

Don’t get hung up on perfect poses and perfect smiles.

Instead try to focus on capturing your children as they play and talk and laugh.  You’ll get far more natural results that ultimately will make you much happier when you look back at the photos in a few years.

What you can do though is gently direct your children to get the best possible results.

If you’re taking photos outside in bright sunlight, then you can encourage them to go and play in an area of open shade where the lighting will be best for pictures.  Sit them together on a blanket and direct them to tell each other the silliest jokes they can think of to get them giggling.

 

The main thing to remember is to take the pressure of yourself and your children.

When you’re focused on getting that one perfect photo then everyone will feel the stress of it.

Let go.  Relax.  Let everyone have fun.

And I promise you the photos you get when you do this will be so much more natural, and capture so much more of how your children really are right now, you’ll love them so much more than the ‘perfect’ ones you were picturing before.

Different ways to photograph your child

5 different ways to photograph your child

If you’re like me, and as a parent you probably are, then I bet you take loads of photos of your children.

The thing is, when you take all these photos they can end up all sort of looking the same.

I definitely go through stages when I feel a bit uninspired and like I’m just taking the same portraits of my children over and over again.  I join in with living arrows each week where I share a photo of my children and there are times when it feels like all I’m sharing is classic, look-straight-at-the-camera photos.

So I want to make a point of mixing things up a bit more this year, to capture my children in different ways and keep having fun photographing their childhoods.  If you ever feel the same way, then here are 5 ideas for different ways to photograph your child.

 

Back away

A great way to add variety and interest to your photos of your children is to back away from them a bit.

When you back up you can get more of the environment into the photo which is amazing for adding more to the story of where you were and what you were doing when the photo was taken.

Backing away a bit also has the added benefit of your children being less aware of the fact that you’re taking their photo, so they’ll hopefully act more naturally and you can capture more of their personalities.

 

Get in close

Of course the flip side of this is another of my favourite ways to photograph my children – get in nice and close.

I love getting in close and capturing the details like the curl of their hair, small hands holding toys and little toddler facial features.

 

Break the rules

When you learn photography you pick up all these rules of composition that you try to faithfully follow, like the rule of thirds and not cutting off limbs in your pictures.

The thing is, if you always follow these rules your photos can end up all looking quite similar and you end up feeling really uninspired.

So mix things up and break some rules.

For example. try placing your child right in the middle of the frame, or just off centre, instead of always placing them in line with the rule of thirds.

When you know the rules you can have quite a bit of fun deliberately breaking them.

 

Get in the photos with them

If you’ve spent any time reading my blog you might have seen this one coming.

When you’re feeling really uninspired with the photos you’re taking of your children, then try getting in some with them.

Set the timer or grab a remote trigger and jump in front of the camera.

Take photos of your whole family together, get some of you reading bedtime stories, helping with homework, or just cwtching up on the sofa.

 

Capture their interests

For me there are a few different reasons why I love to photograph my children.

The first is purely for that visual record of how they’re growing and changing.  I love looking back and seeing how much they’ve changed physically over the years.

Another big reason though is to capture who they are as people at different stages.

A beautiful portrait of your child against a white background might look lovely on your wall, but it won’t tell you anything about their personality or interests at that age.  So take photos that will capture that.

Photograph their little hands holding on tight to their favourite soft toy.  Take pictures of them reading that book that they can’t put down, or listening to you read them that one storybook for the thousandth time.  Capture the look of concentration on their face as they play computer games.

Think about who they are right now, what they’re interested in, what their personalities are like, and find ways to photograph that as well as images just of what they look like.

 

I’m hoping these ideas will help me feel a bit more creative this year with the photos I take of my children.

And hopefully they’ll help you too if you feel like you’ve been a bit uninspired and stuck in a rut with your family photos.