A Little Closer To The Ground

These images are not mine, they were taken on the family ipad by our 3 1/2 year old, and I stumbled upon them recently when I was trying to fix an issue with the device.

Since getting into photography myself I have made some cameras available to my kids as well. For a while the digital camera was more of a curiosity and sough-after play thing than an actual camera. The novelty of what it could do didn’t seem to last too long, unless the other child became interested in it once more that is. Nothing is quite so interesting as what your sister currently has, no matter whether you wanted it three minutes ago or not.

My six year old understands things mechanically, and has a knack for putting together the cause and effect of what is happening. She is the child of endless “why” and “how” questions, and it is through trying to support her in asking those questions that I have learned many interesting things that I never would have thought to ask. She picked up the camera and was quick to start figuring out which button did what. It didn’t take long before she was able to get a good solid picture: subject in the frame, well lit, zoom in if need be.

My 3 1/2 year old shows a much different relationship with the device. With the first digital camera we had, and now with the ipad, I see her off in corners of the room by herself, often looking at things very closely, and working hard to capture something multiple times. She isn’t interested in the technology or the settings. What she is interested in is unclear, but it is obvious to me that she sees something, and feels like this might be a way to capture it.

I am very curious to see if this interest continues or develops. As I have discovered, handing a camera to someone and seeing what comes out is a fascinating way to peek inside their minds, and especially to see a bit through their eyes. I have been self-reflecting through a camera since the end of last year and it is very fun for me to get a quick glimpse inside the head of my middle child.

4 thoughts on “A Little Closer To The Ground

  1. I think it’s a great way for each to learn and experience something in the process, for a parent or a child. During this lockdown i’m spending more time doing photography with my kids than ever before… They enjoy it too. My 10 year old even wants to do his own photo zine, I say – go for it!

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    1. Glad that you’ve been able to share that with you kids. I can’t wait to see how this interest develops with age for both of my girls. I can see how much fun it would be to have that kind of project to share!

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  2. Last autumn my seven year old captivated at the world through the viewfinder of a well-used, beat-up dslr I’d tucked away to the back of a dusty shelf. I was so pleased how thoughtful he was about seeing things carefully and differently. He really seemed to “get it” about what makes photography rewarding. He hasn’t picked that camera back up for awhile (although occasionally when other adults are around, he’s quite proud to provide an impromptu seminar on basic camera controls) but he’s always a little more curious about what I’m up to when I get my photography stuff out.

    Had to chuckle a little about that stray Uno card, also about my youngest……he loves an occasional game after school. He insists on shuffling, which is fine because I’ve never been much of a card shark. But there’s nothing like drawing ten straight cards of the same color. Or watching your opponent cackle with glee as they mine the draw pile for a bunch of draw fours 🙂

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    1. Ha, the card has much more to do with my toddler, who has discovered the game shelf and delights in nothing more than unloading piles of cards all over the floor whenever we aren’t looking.
      My oldest will certainly be the one giving photography seminars down the line. If previous experience is a template, she will also eventually the one telling me that my pictures aren’t properly exposed or focused once she gets older!

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