I have no clue how to raise a photographer. My passion for photography started in my late twenties and I went through my growth alone. I know that professional athletes normally start at young age, same with musicians. So why not start my son on photography when he is young?
So I started him young, I let him use the family compact camera, a Canon G9. Some interesting photos would come from it. Some macro shots of shoes, underneath the couch... really anything low to the ground. Then he dropped it on a tile floor and the cameras life ended. Time to get him his own camera. I got him an older model compact Leica D-lux. There is so many button and dials and options, he couldn't read them all. We needed a simple solution. Time for film camera with a fixed lens, so he would concentrate on composing an image and the subject. Like my Leica rangefinders he needed a simple camera that did the basics. I found a cheap Canon T70, it is built like a tank and will break the tile floor if dropped. The manual focus was to difficult for him (he was 4), onto a new camera. I picked up a Yaschica T4, a fixed 35mm f3.5 lens with an auto rewind film body. Fantastic. Now he is a hybrid shooter- using both the compact digital and compact film cameras.
When I am taking pictures of people or am going somewhere we would get his camera out and encourage participation. Not to long after he would bring his camera on his own. We go on photo walks together and is often side by side with me. Next I am going to print off an album for him so he can maintain his own photos. On a recent family holiday I walked around the corner on the trail to see him directing his model (mom). He was shooting Tri-X 400. I will continue to feed him film as long as he wants to shoot, hopefully a long time.
Photo credits: My son took the black and white photos.