Kids often end up wanting to be like their parents…do things their parents do. Well, my boys love watching me take pictures, so they have gotten an interest in taking pictures as well. While I would love to hand them my DSLR to let them snap some pictures, that’s…just not going to happen. I decided instead to hand them disposable cameras and make them some cool straps, just like Mommy’s camera has, and plan some activities to teach them photography for kids.
We headed out on vacation to visit some very fun places like a gem mine, a nature center, the pumpkin patch, a cavern…I knew my boys would want pictures to capture the moment, but I was taking my own pictures already with my phone. I bought them each two cameras–one regular disposable camera and one waterproof disposable camera. Yes, you can still buy and develop disposable cameras.
At places like the gem mine where we would come in contact with a lot of dirt and water, we used the waterproof cameras. At the other places, we used the regular disposable cameras. The straps came in handy for keeping the cameras accessible while making it more difficult for the boys to drop them. This is essential for photography for kids because the kids like to have the cameras without holding them the entire time.
S loved taking pictures at the nature center. He absolutely loves critters. This is the perfect place to practice photography for kids.
To make sure we knew whose camera was whose, we wrote their names on the cases. You could also let them choose which pattern ribbon they want, but I made it simple and designed them the same with supplies I already had on hand (you can totally customize these!).
We made this into a photography for kids activity and there are so many more ideas you can do with this. I worked on teaching them how to hold the camera, look through it properly, and look and point at what they want to take a picture of (be sure to use flash as needed!). Not as many pictures turned out as I had expected, but we got some pretty good shots. When you’re working on photography for kids, if you have more than one child taking pictures and you’re going to develop them at the same time, make sure they have pictures of their siblings. This is how I knew which set of pictures belonged to each kid once they were developed.
Note: I do not recommend having the film developed through Walgreens. While this is usually my go-to place for developing pictures, the quality for disposable camera film just isn’t there anymore and most of our pictures were thrown away and we never even saw them (out of 27 pictures, E had 8 left and S had 15…though we were charged for 9 and 16 because they included the picture they took of the receipt…we were also supposed to get doubles to send copies to Daddy overseas and didn’t get them.). This has happened multiple times now with several sets of cameras. I don’t usually do things like this, and I did used to work there so I hate having a bad experience, but I wanted to share so you don’t have the same happen with your kids’ pics. I am sure many simply did not turn out, but I will be trying another developer in the future to see if there is a difference in the amount we receive as some of the pictures I watched the boys take in good lighting and I didn’t see any fingers over the lens so they should have been okay.
I made sure the straps would remove easily to be developed and I also made sure they would come off easily so they do not injure the kids if they get caught on something, as they hang around their necks.
Photography for Kids — Disposable Camera Strap Tutorial
What You Need
- Disposable camera (you can also try this with a small digital kids’ camera like this one)
- Fabric fuse tape
- Medium wide ribbon
- Sticky Velcro dots
1. Carefully line the fabric fuse tape along the sides and bottom of the disposable camera. Keep it as centered as possible and remove the top protective layer after the tape is in place and you finish step 2.
2. Fold over one end of your ribbon and use the fabric fuse to stick the ribbon back onto itself so your ends are nice and smooth.
3. Once you’ve removed the tape protective layer, carefully wrap the ribbon around. I started on one side with the folded-over end, wrapped around, then left enough ribbon on the end so it would hang nicely around each boys’ neck. I did a quick measure to make sure they would be the proper length for each boy.
4. Repeat step 2 with the other end of the ribbon.
5. Attach the Velcro tabs to the ribbon. I used the scratchier sides to the underside of the ribbon then the soft ends onto the side of the camera. I used two sets of Velcro tabs for each camera so they would hold up better to movement.
More photography for kids activities you can try with these disposable (or small digital) cameras include:
- Have your child stage photos of objects or food and practice still-life shots.
- Have your children take pictures of each other.
- Go on a picture scavenger hunt–take pictures of various items around town, the house, or nature.
- Take a picture a day (we did this for quite a while and the boys loved it!).
Do your kids love to take photos? Do you have any great tricks for photography with disposable cameras? Share with me in the comments!
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