Do you remember your first photo camera? I do remember mine. To be honest, it was my parents’ camera – Polaroid. I was ecstatic that the photo appears in no time. Something I saw around became a cute neat picture in a few minutes. There was great magic for me in this process, but when I grew older it was lost. The technical progress goes on. When I was a kid I couldn’t even dream of the digital cameras for kids that are available today.
In keeping with the theme of learning, here’s an interesting program I hope expands in the future. Bigshot is currently only running workshops in the New York City area but it looks like they might reach other cities soon. The Bigshot workshops allow kids to build their own camera from a set of Bigshot click-together camera parts. The idea is to teach engineering and science concepts while building a working camera, which can then be used to teach photography.
The program is run by Columbia University and, although you can’t buy the Bigshot camera parts, you can visit their website to learn how the different parts of a point and shoot camera work.
If your looking for a cool looking camera to get your kids enthusiastic about photography Lego may soon be able to help you. They recently announced that they’ve teamed up with Digital Blue to produce a range of children’s electronics, including a camera. Dad’s might be pleased to hear you don’t actually have to assemble the thing (it looks like traditional Lego blocks but doesn’t come apart and snap together), although personally I think that takes most of the fun out of it!
The Bionicle Camera (pictured right) is due to arrive in Toys R Us stores this autumn, in the meantime if you want a camera your kids can actually build check out these instructions for pinhole cameras made from a matchbox or a juice carton. Or for something truly unique find yourself and old Mac and check out the instructions for the happy little mac pinhole camera! If you make any of these at home let us know how it turns out in the comments.
If you’ve been making photography a family affair and you’re a competitive bunch check out these competitions which all feature categories for adults and under 18s:
Travel Photographer of the Year – Always has exceptionally high standards of work entered, this one is open to amateurs and professionals and features a special category for under 17s. This year they’ve created the “first shot” category to give less experienced amateurs a chance to compete against each other while the more experienced compete in the other categories. The entry fee for adults are from £10 to £15 per category and the Young TPOTY category is free. There are some awesome travel and photography equipment prizes up for grabs.
Environmental Photographer of the Year – Features four categories for any age (both amateur and pro photographers) and one specifically for under 21s. This one is free to enter and has the aim of raising awareness of our environment. There are no physical prizes but winning work will be published on the website and displayed in a roving exhibition.
National Wildlife Photo Contest –
Perhaps this is one of the biggest reasons why people enjoy photography: to capture the beauty that they see. It’s no wonder that people of all ages are attracted to the camera, especially young and curious children. Wouldn’t you feel the same way when you look at the smiling faces of adults after getting that one perfect shot?
So why not try to introduce photography to your children which will open up a whole new world for them.