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I Have a Camera of My Own!
Just for Kids!...Article Series
©Darrell Young

You have your own camera! Yay!

Now you can take pictures of your very own. You can put them into your own picture book, and let your friends look at them. You can take them to school so that people can see how much you know about taking pictures.

Taking pictures is called photography. You are now a photographer. You can use your new camera to take photographs, which is another name for pictures. When you use your camera to take photographs of people you know, you will be happy to look at them when you get older. You can look at the pictures you took when you were a child, and you will like them a lot, since they will show what you looked like when you were little, and also, what your friends and family looked like then.

If you take a picture of your toys, you will be able to remember them. If you take some pictures of your house or your pet, it will be fun to look at them. You can take pictures of friends, flowers, birds, fish, dogs, and cats. You can even take pictures of your mom, dad, sisters, and brothers.

   

Are there any babies in your family? It is really fun to take pictures of babies. You used to be a baby too? But look at how big you are now. You are big enough to have your own camera.

Have you seen any photographs of you when you were a baby? You were a cute baby! Yes, babies are cute. It is fun to take pictures of babies so that you can remember what they looked like before they got big.

Babies will sometimes smile at you. If you have your camera ready, you can take funny pictures of babies. Why don't you ask your mom to see some pictures of you when you were a baby. See if you had any teeth. When you were really little you didn't have any teeth. See this little girl. She doesn't have any teeth yet. It is good that we take pictures of babies.

You can take a lot of photographs of the babies that you know. But don't let the baby get your camera because she might put it in her mouth.

   

Your parents can get a special book for you. You can put your pictures in the book. It is called a photo album. It can hold a lot of pictures. That is good, because you will take a lot of photographs now that you are a photographer. It is really fun to be a photographer and have an album of your own.

You can show the photographs in your picture album to your grandparents and friends at school. They will be proud of you for taking such nice pictures.

   
How To Use My New Camera  
   
Now that we have talked about some of the things to take pictures of, why don't we learn to use our cameras. My camera probably looks a little different from your camera. But they work the same. Your camera has some things you will need to learn about. You will learn about the camera's lens, shutter button, flash, and viewfinder. These are important parts of the camera, and you will need to learn how to use them.
   

In this picture you will see a yellow line pointing at the lens on the camera. The lens is on the front of your camera. Have one of your parents show you the lens on your camera.

It is important to keep the lens clean. If you put your finger on the glass part of the lens, or if it gets dirty, it might make your pictures look bad. Use a soft tissue paper to clean the lens. Have a parent or adult friend show you how. The lens is how the camera sees the picture. It is like the camera's eye. Always keep it clean!

   

In this picture you can see a yellow line pointing to the shutter button. This is what you will press with your finger to take a picture. You will use the finger that you point with to press the shutter button. There is a picture below showing how to hold the camera so that your pictures will look good when you take them.

Notice the little switch that says POWER next to the shutter button. Your camera will have a switch or button like that. It might say POWER or it might say ON/OFF. You use it to turn your camera on and off. Have someone show you where your camera's on/off button is. You can't take pictures unless your camera is on.

Once it is turned on, point your camera at the person or thing you want to take a picture of, then press the shutter button.

   

See the little viewfinder on the back of this camera? Your camera will have a viewfinder too. Have an adult show you where your camera's viewfinder is.

Put your eye near the viewfinder, and look through it. You will see what your camera sees with it's lens. Whatever you see in the viewfinder is what you will see on the picture too.

Keep the viewfinder clean too. If it gets dirty, you will have a hard time seeing through it. The viewfinder is what YOU see through, and the lens is what the CAMERA sees through. Keep both clean!

   

Have you ever seen a bright flash of light when your parents took a picture of you? Taking a picture inside your house usually requires a flash. See the yellow line pointing at the flash.

Sometimes there is not enough light to make a good picture. The flash makes a bright light for a short time so that the picture will look good even when it is dark. Your camera probably knows when to turn on the flash, so you should not worry about it. Have a parent or adult friend show you your camera's flash. Keep it clean too, with a soft tissue, just like the lens and viewfinder.

   

See how this girl is holding the camera? She has her eye up to the viewfinder. She is using her left eye, but some kids prefer to use their right eye. Use whichever eye feels best to you.

Notice how her pointing finger is on the shutter button? See how she has her thumbs on the bottom of the camera? Also, notice how her fingers are not in front of the lens, viewfinder, or flash?

She is holding the camera correctly. Can you hold your camera like she is holding hers? Make sure that you keep the camera level when you are looking through the viewfinder.

   

Here are the steps to take a picture:

  1. Turn the camera on.
  2. Hold the camera like the girl is holding hers in the picture above.
  3. Make sure your fingers are not in front of the lens, viewfinder, or flash.
  4. Keep your thumbs on the bottom of the camera.
  5. Hold your breath while you are taking the picture.
  6. Press the shutter button down slowly until you hear it click, or see the flash make a bright light.
   

Be very careful to hold still when you are taking a picture. That is why you hold your breath and press the shutter button slowly. You might want to hold your feet about six inches apart and make sure you are standing still before you press the button. If you keep your thumbs on the bottom of the camera, you can hold still when you press on the shutter button. That is very important when you are using a small camera.

Photography is a lot of fun, and people like to see pictures of themselves. You are now a photographer and can take many pictures. You can put your pictures in an a picture album and show them to others. Ask to see some photo albums your parents or adult friends have. Isn't it fun to see people in pictures? Now people can have fun looking at your pictures!

Congratulations on becoming a photographer! We can't wait to see your photographs. Have fun with your new camera!

Dedicated to little Griffen Merkle, new son of Issac and Tennille Merkle!
Copyright ©MMIII by Darrell Young, All Rights Reserved