By Christina VanGinkel
With the cost of digital cameras dropping fast, get a child in your life one for the upcoming holiday season, and be prepared to get back a great big thank you and some amazing photos too! While any camera, film or otherwise, is a nice gift, a digital just makes it so much easier and fun. No costs for developing film that did not turn out, as they can choose to only print those they want, or to just view them on the computer, and no hassle of dropping off and picking up film, as long as they have a computer and printer at home.
A kid with a digital camera is fun no matter which way you examine it. They are not intimidated by all the buttons; they just seem to be naturals. Surprisingly, most kids I know would be even more prone to reading the instructions than any adult I have ever met. Toss in a case and a cleaning kit, and you will be teaching them pride in ownership too, as once they see the amazing things they can do with their new possession, they will want to be sure to keep it in tiptop shape.
If you happen to have a child that is a bit on the shy, quiet side, a camera is a great way to get them to open up. It gives them a secure feeling to be behind the lens, and then when they share with you what they have taken photographs of; it will give you both stepping-stones to use for conversation building.
If you have a child that is more of an extrovert, a camera can also have a good influence. It will provide them with the opportunity to slow down, and if not, then you can be assured of some of the best action shots you will ever see, by a photographer you can say you know personally.
If the camera comes with the option of short bursts of video, as many of the digital cameras on the market today do, even lesser priced models, this will also provide them with an additional form of enjoyment. Though be warned that a child with the ability to take video will most likely use their closest relatives, including siblings and parents, as studies in the art of movie making.
An advantage of giving a child a digital camera as a gift this holiday season is the built in choices for gifts for upcoming holidays and birthdays. They will be in need of photo albums for many holidays to come, a camera gear bag, extra memory, photo-editing software, maybe a tripod. AS they grow with their camera, and mature, they may even be ready for their own photo printer, and eventually a more sophisticated camera if the hobby turns into a passion, as photography is apt to do when introduced to child young enough to take the time to enjoy it. Make this holiday season special for a child on your list, and surprise them with their very own digital camera, they will never forget it!