My father often told us life was a matter of perspective. Our position determined our view on issues and our sensitivity and sensibility toward others. When I was a little girl having a still camera or the resources to develop film was not something to be taken lightly. Regardless, on my fourth birthday my parents made the choice to gift me with a camera. Nothing fancy, in fact it was a really modest Kodak with those cute little cube disposable flashes. At the time, my older sister was the happy owner of a Polaroid and her access to instant gratification set my heart on envious fire.
Admit it. Your kids borrow your phone. For games, music and other fun little widgets. For us it was quite surprising to find a set of incredible flower photos taken by my two-year-old niece. Her framing of the subject was magical as if someone had wired the rule of thirds in her heart. After that discovery we made the decision to let her have a first generation Iphone.
The objects of our affection vary according to our age and emotional needs. For a little girl the subject of a photo shoot could be Dora or a lovely earthworm. For a boy a frog or a Tonka may just do the trick. In allowing our little ones to take their own photos we are creating archives for the heart. It is likely that these photos will stir emotions that cannot be accessed otherwise as they grow old and their view of the world matures and evolves.
Having a photographic archive of a trip will give you plenty of material to go back and explore the academic aspects of a subject. Perhaps your child captured the image of a building or a statue. On the spot you may have no clue as to the historical background of these landmarks but once you are back home the possibilities for learning and exploration based on photographic records are endless.
Know their Heart
As the perception of a child matures and develops he or she will begin to capture emotion, don’t be surprised if in moments of sadness your child records photos that evoke melancholy and other sentiments. Photography also helps your child develop an ability to identify facial emotional queues as he encourages his subjects to smile or pose.
Life moves at full speed. Often we are unable to observe the visual nuances and details of the things that surround us. Take photos of detail-rich objects along with your little one and work together in a journey of discovery counting the legs of a spider or the spots on a butterfly. Take a look at the shadows captured by the lake and explain at his level concepts of color theory.
The camera does not need to be fancy. In fact, if you select a modest model you will have great peace of mind. If possible find a sturdy piece of equipment that is water resistant and mark it with his name. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to see the world through the eyes of your little one.
About the Author: Marcy is a videographer and photographer for web video services in Chicago. She is also a mother of two and aunt to seven little ones.