Looking for a fun, relaxing, creative hobby for your family? With the prevalence of iPhones and iPads, starting a photography hobby with your kids is easier than ever. By focusing on outdoor photography, you will reap the many benefits of both connecting to nature and engaging in a creative activity.
A post from guest author Sandi Schwartz
Why Nature Photography Is So Relaxing
Photography is a wonderful art form to help us feel happier and calmer. It allows us to place our focus outside of ourselves by distracting us from emotions like stress, anxiety, and sadness. Overall, art has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels and boost our mood. It is a way of tapping into the right side of the brain where creativity, intuition, visualization, emotions, and daydreaming stem from.
Creativity helps us focus on something more positive, productive, and inspiring. It also gets us in a state of flow, which means becoming so absorbed in our creative project that we reach a near-meditative state. When we are in a state of flow, we forgot about all our thoughts and lose track of time.
The main reason nature photography is so calming is that it serves as a type of mindfulness practice while snapping photographs with our camera. It can be quite calming to take photos, especially of gorgeous nature and awe-inspiring images. This whole process enables us to capture the objects we find extraordinarily beautiful in the world and gives us a whole new perspective.
The entire process of shooting photography, from choosing a subject matter to discovering new angles to manipulating the light, requires a great deal of focus and attention. This process ends up being meditative, so we feel more relaxed as a result. A large part of photography involves capturing the colors that we see with the naked eye. This helps spark imagination as we process what we capture through the camera lens.
How To Start a Nature Photography Hobby
You can easily get started by taking pictures of nature and then painting them with watercolor. Flowers, trees, and animals are so unique, vivid, and fresh. When we focus on a gorgeous flower, for example, we can easily feel more relaxed. Head outside and go for a walk with the intention of finding some intriguing nature objects to take pictures of, so you will end up viewing your surroundings with an artistic eye. This can be a helpful skill to teach children, too, since it encourages them be more mindful and curious.
First, go for a walk and look for attractive nature in your neighborhood or seek out nature during your travels, whether it be a trip to the beach or a garden. Then snap a photo of it using your phone camera or other type of camera. When looking for beautiful images, notice how much more mindful you and your kids are of your surroundings. Later, when you are ready to sit down and paint, scroll through your images and choose one to create artwork. You can pull up the image on your phone or computer or print it out the old-fashioned way to use as a reference photo.
Next, draw the object or animal. Finally, get creative with the color palette and have a blast painting natural scenery. In addition to using the nature photos for painting, you can post them online to inspire others with the beauty of nature.
You can easily start a nature habit in your family. You can choose from a variety of cameras—from children’s cameras to iPhones to serious high-end cameras with fancy lenses. Then it’s just a matter of making the time to venture out to snap some photos. You can visit places like gardens, national parks, nature centers, farms, and local water bodies or you can find nature right in your own backyard. You will probably even be able to capture some gorgeous images from your front porch, balcony, driveway, or even window. Get creative and see what you find!
Fun Ideas For Your Nature Photography Hobby
There are so many ways to keep your family’s nature photography hobby fun and exciting. Try out some of these ideas:
- Print out your pictures and create a collage.
- Use your images to make cards to send to family and friends.
- Add your images to a nature journal by writing captions, stories, or poems to describe what you saw.
- Enter a nature photography contest.
- Share your images on social media, along with uplifting quotes.
- Put together a nature slideshow set to relaxing music or nature sounds.
- Decorate your home or office with your own nature photography.
- Give your nature photography as gifts. You can go on a variety of websites and order special gifts with your images, such as blankets, mugs, shirts, and more.
- Have nature photography challenges as a family, such as only taking pictures of natural objects of a certain color, looking for specific shapes, or searching for all the animals in a specific location.
Sandi Schwartz is an author, journalist, and mother of two. As the founder and director of the Ecohappiness Project, her mission is to inspire and educate families to build a nature habit to feel happier and calmer. Both her parenting book, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, and children’s book, Sky’s Search for Ecohappiness, are available now. Learn more at www.ecohappinessproject.com.