If you’re not a professional photographer, but you definitely know more than the average person, you might want to teach some of your skills to kids. They don’t necessarily have to be your kids or related to you. You could find a group in your local area, and volunteer your time. It might sound silly, but starting anything at an early age is certainly better from a learning perspective. But you might be wondering why you should do this? You’re not a professional, but it is actually beneficial for yourself as well.
Back to the Basics
As it happens in life, we tend to overcomplicate things, as we progress. This can also be said about photography. Teaching a child how to use a camera and how to understand the shooting process, quickly gets your brain to slow down and get back to the basics. For example, explaining ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to a young person in a way that is easily understandable and immediately put into practice will help you revisit the very start of your own photography. This is especially true if you are self-taught and never had structured instruction to begin with.
(Re)Ignite the Flame
When it comes to learning, children are essentially blank canvasses. Which is why it’s better to learn things like you’re young. Not only that, but children won’t have already learned something, that they then have to unlearn. The great part about teaching a young person is that it can ignite their photography flame. But, it can also reignite your flame as well. As we get older, life tends to get in the way, and as a result, we tend to ignore our passions. Getting back to the basics has the opportunity to re-ignite that flame for you.
Leave a Legacy
Many of us want to leave some kind of legacy for the next generation. As photographers, we want to leave behind award-winning photographer that has an impact on everyone who sees it. But what if you look at your legacy in a different way? Instead of thinking about it in terms of your physical work, why not think about it in terms of who you are mentoring? Maybe you will have an incredible impact on young people – in ways that you could never imagine.
I’m not saying that this has to be your legacy. I am simply saying that perhaps we need to re-think how we view a legacy. Not only that, but not everyone will enjoy working with children. This doesn’t have to be your full-time job. But maybe, just maybe, your influence will spark something in someone, and they will become the next big thing. We don’t know what kind of impact we have on others, and teaching is a great way to demonstrate this.
Watching someone blossom from being anxious to hold a camera, to coming to you and asking for advice can be incredibly rewarding. I think that’s the silver lining when it comes to teaching. Sure, it’s not always easy, but the end result can be. By looking at photography through the eyes of a child might just give you a new way of looking at the craft altogether.