Doug B. Richardson on his experiences with Instax and children….
By Doug B. Richardson
Is it ever too early to introduce children to the idea of photography? Doug B. Richardson on his experiences with Instax and children….
Ella with her Instax camera
Landscape by Ella
I wanted to start my daughter with an Instax as this is about as simplest way to introduce analog photography to young children. The camera’s look and feel appeal to the younger crowd and is easy to use and carry, especially with the matching carry case accessory essential, I think, for a four year olds slippery hands. I spent some time showing her how to load the batteries and film as well as how the light meter/lens barrel worked. The camera meters the light and one has to match the lens barrel/aperture setting to the suggested reading indicated by a small light, easy enough. Ella especially liked the idea of the small selfie mirror next to the lens allowing her to later compose those all important selfie images, proof that she had been there and done that.
Ella with Instax camera and prints
We visited one of our local villages and proceeded to enjoy a photo walk on the dry fall afternoon. Being the ever “cost conscience” photographer, I goaded her along with ideas of composition and making meaningful images. She would have nothing of it; I eventually had to concede and give her the freedom to choose which shots she wanted to take. The only job I was allowed was to tally the number of shots she still had available, as the carry case covered the “shots left” indicator.
I would have to say though that I was surprised at her overall restraint as well as by her choice of subject matter and composition. I loved to observe her analysis of the scene and what she considered important details, the way she squinted her eyes and face while composing the shot, and the promptness in which she tucked the image into her pocket waiting on the image to appear. I was swollen with pride in her first attempt at instant photography. Success!
They say that it is never too early to introduce children to the idea of photography. I also think this and I look forward to sharing more time with my children making images, talking gear, and working in the darkroom. I have already accumulated several other cameras awaiting her exploration. I encourage anyone to embrace this idea, as it is a wonderful way to bond and spend time with children, of all ages.
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