Parents, we know you put a lot of effort into making the holiday special for your loved ones and little ones. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all those little details and moments recorded for posterity? Make it a project for your munchkins! In my experience (teaching children for 10 years), kids love to have an important ‘job’ – a special mission. Playing an official family photographer is a good chance for them to exercise responsibility and creativity. Have a private talk to get them excited about their role, and help them make a checklist.
Here are some ideas:
1. Decorations. Before guests arrive (while you’re trying to do all those last-minute things), have the kids take close-ups of the Christmas tree ornaments, the menorah, or the table runners and candles. Capture those precious still-life shots before the hustle and bustle.
2. Food. Before everyone digs in, have the kids take close-ups of the holiday goodies. Help them find or create a pleasing background, often by standing (carefully!) on a chair to photograph straight down.
3. Candids. Teach your children to take “spy pictures.” Kids love this one! Tell them that their mission is to take pictures of people at the party without their subjects noticing. Show them how to zoom in, hold the camera steady (resting it on a ledge or table helps), and be sneaky. This is a great way to capture those tender hugs and belly laughs, while teaching children the power and the joy of silent observation.
4. Formals. Have the kids tell everyone it’s time for a group portrait. Encourage them to project their voices to get everyone arranged and smiling. It’s hard to do! So, it’s a great exercise for the kids to build confidence and practice giving direction.
5. Traditions. Take the time to talk to your children about the special traditions your family holds – the specifics of the holiday you celebrate, but also the little traditions unique to you. Do you toast cider? Make tamales? Open just ONE present? Instruct the kids to record all the special family traditions, and in the process, you’ll imbue them with gratitude and pride.
**After the holiday, print out a selection of your child’s images and frame a few or make an album – a lovely decoration for next year, but also to show how much you appreciate your child’s effort and artistry.
Happy Holidays to you and yours from Samy’s Camera Photo Camp!
Here are some festive photos our students have taken this semester: