Probably the best thing to ever happen to photography and children was digital photography. Now parents don’t have to spend tons of money letting their children practice taking pictures only to end up with envelopes filled with unusable photos. Children can practice for hours at no cost (other than the camera) to the family budget. Your child has a better chance than ever of discovering and developing the gift of photography.
Many people enjoy taking pictures. Facebook is filled with photos depicting everything happening in the lives of our teens. So how do you know if this is a gift your child has been given by God to use in His Kingdom? In some ways you don’t. I am by no means a gifted photographer, but many of my photos have been used to promote missions, Bible classes and other things that glorify God. Sometimes a “good enough” photo, is good enough to be used by God.
Our “job” as parents is not to make final judgments, but to allow our children the time to experiment. Most likely, if this is truly a gift they have been given by God, experimentation will lead to a passion for the subject. Soon your “nonreader” will ask for a subscription to a digital photography magazine. Your child who can’t seem to sit still, will suddenly spend hours photographing the same thing in various types of lights and angles. A child who doesn’t enjoy school will ask to take photography classes at the local art studio as a Christmas present. Even if it proves to be only part of the experimentation process, having photography skills can prove useful in helping your child share whatever they end up doing for God with others.
And if your child is truly gifted as a photographer? This is a gift that is needed in every congregation and in every ministry. Have your child bring her camera to church events and email the photos she takes to the minister or ministry leader. Often people forget to line up someone to take pictures and are unable to later share what happened with others. If your child is well behaved, he may soon be asked to specifically come to events to take pictures for the church. He may even be asked to put together montages or dvd’s of a group of photos for a ministry to use.
If your child is old enough to be on Facebook, encourage her to use photography as an outreach ministry. Perhaps she can take photos of visitors or new members interacting with others in the Youth Group. Have her friend these new teens and share the photos. Perhaps the added interaction will encourage these new teens to feel a part of the group more quickly.
Is your child also good at crafts or does she enjoy working with children? Many foster children and orphans have few if any photos to remember their childhood. Your photographer could offer to photograph current events, places and people in the life of the child and help the child start a scrapbook. The resulting project will become a treasured item for the foster child.
If your child is gifted in photography, consider encouraging him to expand to video footage as well. Many cameras (and phones) have the ability to take quality video footage as well as photos. If your family has an Apple computer of some sort, the Apple stores even give free classes in using their photo and video programs. Our daughter took the video class years ago and used it as a springboard to experiment with “movie” making. She has now become one of the videographers our congregation uses for various events.
The Christian movie industry is growing. Film studios specializing in quality films are being built and with the advent of Kickstarter, film makers can make movies without a major studio behind them. Your child may help bring about much needed changes to Hollywood and the movie and television industry!
In the meantime, take advantage of the low cost of allowing your child to experiment in this area of giftedness. He may just capture the photo that becomes the center of your congregation’s or ministry’s web site!