It’s been argued that we live in the ‘Age of the Image’, where our ability to decode and capture visuals are now a necessity in order to communicate information. Not only is photography a powerful art form, but also a storytelling one as well. I’ve been slowly trying to introduce Lucas to Photography, but because I’m awful at taking photos I don’t really know where to start. Dan Kane is a Photographer, who took some absolutely awesome photos during our first real family shoot at the beginning of October – I asked Dan to participate in our DadsforCreativity 3 Question Interview, and give me some pointers on how to introduce photography to young children.

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Photography and Creativity – what’s the connection?

I was 13 years old when I got my first camera. As I started taking photographs, I found myself using my eyes differently as I was constantly seeking out interesting patterns, textures, colors and people. I had always loved to sketch and draw, but my camera gave me the chance to be creative in a new way as I documented things that I saw in my everyday life. I would constantly test myself to come up with a new angle or approach to a subject that might otherwise not be very interesting.

Dan's daughter helps him add some final tweaks to our family photo!
Dan’s daughter helps him add some final tweaks to our family photo!

In what ways can parents introduce young children to photography?

My two daughters (ages 5 and 7) have already expressed an interest in photography and I encourage it by giving them “assignments” with my old point and shoot camera. For instance, I’ve had them shoot portraits of their favorite stuffed animal, seek out examples of a certain shape or texture or take “action” photos of our cats. Occasionally, they sit with me as I’m editing and we discuss composition. It’s fun for them and I love that they take an interest in my work!

How can parents cultivate creative thinking skills within these introductory type activities?

It’s important to always remain positive and focus on interesting elements of the pictures your kids will take. They won’t all be great, but as long as they keep shooting, their eye will develop quickly. You might even see them gravitating towards a particular type of photography like nature, portraits or even abstract subjects. Don’t get bogged down in trying to teach them the technical aspects early on. Just let them shoot and have fun!

I bought my eldest a VTech Kidizoom Connect Camera. Here he's trying to snatch a picture of a giraffe!
I bought my eldest a VTech Kidizoom Connect Camera. Here he’s trying to snatch a picture of a giraffe!

You can see some of Dan’s work on his website at http://dankanephotos.com/.

Dan – thanks for participating in our Dads for Creativity, 3 Question Interview. A big take away from this interview is less on the technical and more on making time to review the pictures my little one taken and together identify interesting things that’s been captured!

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Matthew Worwood
Matthew Worwood is an educator, Creative Studies scholar-practitioner, and co-host of the Fueling Creativity in Education podcast. He is a professor of Digital Media Design at the University of Connecticut and a husband and proud father to three young boys.

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