Put a camera in a toddler’s hands. Seriously. Too young to express themselves verbally they communicate so well visually. Even a three year old can point-and-shoot with minimal instruction. And what they choose to “capture” will surely educate the family.
On Lindblad family expeditions, our photo team (a National Geographic photographer and one or more staff photographers) delight in presenting special photo workshops for young explorers. Most participants range between the ages of five and fifteen but all interested are welcomed at the event. The youngest usually bring their folks along, sometimes to guard the family camera but often just to observe and learn.
So where does one start? With how to hold the camera, of course, and which end to point away. Switch it on. Depress the shutter and they are off and running. The surprise in it all is how fast the youngest discover that “breaking the rules” can be as creative as following the directions. It takes only one to turn the camera around for an amusing self-portrait before the game is on with laughs and giggles. Fish lips and curled tongues, rabbit ears and headstands, all are transformed into electronic images. Instant gratification is theirs, thanks to the well-embraced world of digital photography.
But then it’s down to the serious business of documenting elements of the cruise. What parts of the ship seem important to a child? Each sees this world in a different way. It may be the nestled Zodiacs piled outside on the deck or the piles of yellow kayaks. Or maybe the bridge and the officers there are important to some aspiring young mariner. It might be their own cozy cabin, their home away from home. Or maybe mom and dad or grandma and grandpa too might be the subject of the day. From the now familiar ship board life to the curious world outside the youth of the voyage move on to create their own personal memoir of their family expedition.
Photography plays an important role on all of our cruises, whether traveling with family or on the trail of some exotic wildlife. Of course nowhere in the world can close-up wildlife be more guaranteed than in the Galapagos Islands. Imagine the different perspective a child could bring to an image looking at it from their own point of view, at eye level or lying on their belly inching ever closer. Alaska, Arctic Norway and the Amazon are also recommended as family expeditions but here the photography takes on a new challenge. The wildlife are kept at more than arms length but a photograph of their habitat tells more about their life than a full frame head-shot ever will do.
Put a camera in your child’s hand and join us on a cruise to the Galapagos, Alaska, Arctic Norway, the Amazon or anywhere else in the world you choose to go. Our photographers are eagerly awaiting.
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