As far as photography skills go, Jacob has some pretty amazing genes. My grandfather was a Navy photographer back at the end of WWII, before it was an official rating. When he got out of the Navy, he worked for several different television companies. He even did the closed-circuit video for the Miss America Pageants. I always joked that if my grandfather could have a camera surgically implanted in his eyes, he would!

Me Cruise

Jake’s dad is also a photographer. He spent 6 years as a Navy journalist, then years as a news photographer (mostly video). He also worked at the proving grounds, photographing things blowing up. Genetically, he’s got major advantages over me when it comes to photography. He took that picture of me in St. Thomas when he was just 5. I got my grandfather’s vision and imagination, but not his technical skills for photography. I think Jacob could have both.

National Geographic Kids Guide to Photography

Lately, Jake’s been expressing a major interest in shooting video and taking pictures. When the chance to check out and review National Geographic Kids Guide to Photography popped up, I thought it would be fun. I secretly also thought that if the book was written for kids, I’d actually understand it too. I have at least 30 books on photography on my Kindle and I don’t understand a word in any of them at this point!

NatGeo Photography

Kids Guide to Photography is a great way to introduce your children to every type of photography, from simple point and shoot camera to cell phones to video camera. It’s visually engaging, something that many grown-up photography books lack in my opinion. If you want to tell someone how to take good pictures, it really helps to actually SHOW good pictures!

The book starts with a breakdown of the camera’s parts. Every camera has the same basic components and understanding what these parts do is the first step to taking great pictures. From there, your kids can learn more about the cameras they have access to, be it your cell phone camera or a fancy DSLR.

NatGeo Photography 1

As the book goes on, kids will learn everything from choosing a subject to making sure the lighting is just right. They’ll get expert tips on how to take the picture and help for when it goes wrong. Most importantly, it does all this in a language that middle-grade kids can understand AND it makes it fun. After reading a section, your kids can try out their skills with different challenges called “Annie’s Assignments,” taking the lessons out into the real world.

National Geographic Kids Guide to Photography isn’t just a great way to teach kids how to take amazing pictures, it’s also a fantastic resource for YOU. Like I said, it’s easier to read than a lot of the advanced photography books out there. It gives you a good place to start before you delve into deeper books. I recommend getting a copy, then practicing your own skills along with your kids. Think of the adventures!

Get your copy at National Geographic or on Amazon.

Do your kids love taking pictures? What kind of camera do they use?