Guest Blog - How Photography can help to boost your child's mental health by Write from the Heart
Photography can help to boost your child's mental health
A few weeks ago I was contacted by a representative of personalised keepsakes brand, Write from the Heart. They had seen and read my blog, and wanted to know if I would be interested in having a bespoke article written for my readers on the subject of how photography can improve a child's mental health and wellbeing. As a big supporter of small business (particularly at the moment) and with it being a subject close to my own heart, of course I said yes.
Write from the Heart offers a wide range of personalised gifts (and also writes a mean blog post) as you'll see below. Thanks for reading!
Here, Kirsty Prankerd, from the personalised and photo gift specialists Write from the Heart shares her insight into how photography can be such a beneficial hobby for your kids.
You'll want to do everything you can to support your child's development and ensure they're happy. I'm sure you pack nutritious lunches for them every day, help them with their homework, and treat them to fun new toys every once in a while. But have you considered introducing them to a new hobby that could be beneficial for their mental wellbeing?
There are a whole host of different ways in which photography is ideal for this. Here, I'm going to talk you through the many benefits of the hobby, and also outline a few ways you can encourage your children to get involved with it.
Photography encourages mindfulness
The art of taking a photo requires you to live in the moment and properly pay attention to what's happening in front of you. As a result, it will give your child the opportunity to feel focused and present as they're setting up their shots.
Looking closer at their surroundings and searching for subjects to shoot is sure to give your little one a deeper appreciation for the world around them, and they'll hopefully start to see the beauty in the everyday. Photography can also be a great hobby for stress-relief, as it will give you kids something to focus on, so they'll forget anything they're worried about, even if it's only for a little while.
It can help them to make connections
There's a huge community of photographers out there who would love to see your child's shots and offer them some tips. You can often find online groups for beginners, which are ideal for meeting like-minded creatives who also love perfecting an image. Just make sure you monitor your child's online activity if they're quite young. You could even sit with them or share their work for them. This way, they can still make some great connections and pick up plenty of advice, but you won't have to worry about their online safety.
Once things start to get back to normal, you could even take your little one along to in-person photography meet-ups. Other photographers will be more than happy to help your child get to grips with their camera, and you'll find people you can turn to for advice if your little one has a question you can't quite answer.
It will keep them entertained
The possibilities really are endless when it comes to photography, so it's unlikely your child will ever get bored of this hobby. There's always a new place they can visit, a new person they can shoot, and a new style of photography to try out. So, if you're looking for a way to provide your little one with long-term brain stimulation, this could be the perfect hobby for them. Just make sure you're also engaged by asking to see their photos, praising their work, and possibly even asking them to give you a lesson. Photography is even more fun when you get to share it with someone.
It will allow your little one to get creative
Children have the most wonderful imaginations, but it can sometimes be difficult to work out where to channel all of their ideas and creativity. Luckily, photography is great for that! There's also no pressure of getting it right first time when it comes to photography, because your child will simply be able to delete any shots they're not happy with and try again. This can take a lot of the stress out of a creative hobby, which is what makes photography such a great choice if you think your child could do with a confidence boost.
How to get your child interested in photography
If I've completely sold you on getting your child involved in photography, you probably have one big question: how can I do it? Providing them with their own camera is a great place to start. This doesn't have to cost the earth, either. If you have an old smartphone, iPad, or point and shoot camera lying around somewhere, this will be ideal to begin with. You can always update their equipment if they really take to photography.
It's also a good idea to gently encourage them, rather than forcing them to pick up a camera. We all know little ones can enjoy rebelling. So, a soft approach is best. Ask if they would like to go on a walk with you to take some photos, or buy them a photo book of images they might be able to recreate. Inspire them, then leave them to it.
Praise is also a very important part of encouraging your child to take up a new hobby. Ask to see them work and let them know how proud of them you are. If there are any images that you absolutely love, you could even have them printed out and framed in your home. Or you could have them printed onto gifts for your family. This is sure to make your little one feel good about their work, and they'll be more likely to keep going.
Photography is a fantastic hobby for kids, as it can help to boost their confidence, gives them a chance to be creative, and can even work as a great stress-reliever. Take these tips on board and we're sure your child will love being behind the camera in no time at all.
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