BECOME A PHOTO JOURNALIST
Mr. Ruby loves to take photos and tell a story about the animals and places he visits. You can follow his example and tell a story about places and animals that matter to you! Take pictures of your favorite animal or place outside! It could be a big national park or your neighborhood greenspace, as long as you take the photo yourself. Join NWF’s Wild Places Flickr group and tag your photos “climate classroom,” which allows others to see your photos.
Share the list of helpful tips on the following page with your parents and get them involved. You can even tell a teacher and make it a class project.
Find more helpful hints in our wildlife and nature photography tips center! www.nwf.org/phototips
Enter our photo contests at www.nwf.org/PhotoZone
TIPS FOR PARENTS TO GET YOUNG KIDS OUTDOORS AND PHOTOGRAPHING NATURE
The camera: Nothing discourages a budding photographer like poor-quality results. Most phones and hand-held devices have a high quality camera; or you could pass along an older camera that you are certain works well.
Make sure the device or camera is durable enough to withstand some abuse and simple enough to be easily used.
Keep it inexpensive—you don’t want to end up heartbroken if the new camera or your new phone ends up submerged in a mud puddle.
Don’t seek out a “kid’s” camera. Many cameras created for and marketed to children are not as good as similarly
priced adult devices and cameras.
The basics: Give your child some simple instruction in how to use the camera, but don’t expect perfection.
Teach how to focus—most inexpensive cameras have at least a short shutter delay, so make sure your child knows to keep a finger on the shutter button until the photo is taken; or show her how to focus with the touch screen.
Show your child a fuzzy photo and a sharp one, and explain the difference. Explore all of the fun apps to enhance photos.
Emphasize that a sharp photograph generally requires stillness. Teach your child to keep the hand supporting the camera still while focusing or zooming with the other hand.
Get out there: Make a point of getting your kid—and the camera—outside often.
Think small. When we think of wildlife photography, we tend to think of bears, giraffes, elephants—animals that are both large and inaccessible to most of us. Point out to your budding photographer the wildlife and plant life that surrounds us all: butterflies in the backyard, bugs under a flower pot, wildflowers and trees in parks, leaves and flower petals up close. These all make wonderful subjects for photography.
Encourage your child to get close to his subjects (within reason). Not only will this make for better photos, it will also get him more engaged with the plants and animals he is photographing.
Turn your outings into a game. Make a list of colors, shapes or different items found in nature, then challenge your child to find and photograph them. For a little friendly competition among siblings or friends, plan a photo scavenger hunt!
Make it educational. When you return home with the photos, spend some time with wildlife or flower guides (or your computer) and help your child identify the species he photographed.
Share your child’s photos with family and friends. Use social media or email messages with your child’s photos to share your nature discoveries. A photograph with a nice note from from your child to a grandparent could start a wonderful intergenerational exchange. Make a e-book and print it out to memorialize your special days together.
Last, and most important, teach your child to respect and
appreciate nature: Delicate wildflowers should not be trampled, even for a great photo of a butterfly. Baby birds should be left undisturbed in their nests. This will quickly become second nature to your child, and you will probably find that your aspiring photographer is also becoming
a passionate naturalist.
Join our Facebook community at
Visit our Nature and Wildlife
Photography Tips Center at
Enter our photo contests at