Kids and photography

Published by Lori Pickert on October 1, 2007 at 08:18 PM

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Cameras are an important homeschooling tool for us.

The boys' photographs never fail to impress me. They notice and focus on things I didn't see. They capture the experience from their own kid perspective. And they never fail to highlight the things that mean the most to them.

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Invariably, I think their pictures tell a more accurate (and more humorous) story than mine.

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We use cameras for snapshots, making art, communicating with friends and family, field trips, journaling. We also use them just to help us focus more — taking them on a walk in the woods, for example. We notice so much more when we bring our cameras, because we're really looking — looking to see what's there, searching for things that are interesting — instead of just talking and walking.

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I notice that they tend to zoom in closer than I would sometimes, and often they step back and take much more in than I would.

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They are very creative, and they come up with ideas I'd have never thought of.

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Like other types of artwork (drawings, paintings), photographs give us a starting point for interesting conversations and the boys have a different, non-writing way to take notes. They can catalog interests, questions, ideas. The boys' photographs become a jumping-off point for conversations that might lead to something as simple as looking up a type of tree and as complex as what the symbols on cemetary markers mean. The cameras are our tools, and their photographs become our resource materials.

All photographs except the top one were taken by my sons, at ages 4 through 10.

5 comments

Comment by Charlotte on October 2, 2007 at 04:50 AM

those photos are all amazing! I especially love the cows in the field and the last one - the peephole!

I like to hear people's thinking behind stuff. As I never went to university I think I totally missed out on that theory stuff - so I am always totally amazed when people think about things.

Ah, oh! Does that mean I am winging it all the time?! I like to think I run on gut instinct alone !! ha ha!

Comment by tonya on October 2, 2007 at 04:06 PM

good job guys on the photo taking. they are wonderful.

Comment by Lori Pickert on October 2, 2007 at 04:25 PM

thank you, tonya, i will pass that along :^)

thank you, charlotte, too! that last peephole shot, my son took through a grommet .. his idea .. what a genius.

on our trip west, my younger son took a picture *through* the lens of one of those machines that act like binoculars (lord, i hope you know what i mean!) .. they are so creative.

i went to university, and i am still amazed when people think about things! (they so often don't...)

gut instinct .. winging it .. i think it's the same! you have a great gut instinct, that's what's important. :^)

Comment by Laura Rich on November 12, 2014 at 08:14 AM

Thanks for this! My five year old son is interested in photography and takes some great photos - but he's broken the two hand-me-down cameras we've given him. He wants another and I want him to be able to pursue photography, but I can't find a camera that is durable enough for him that takes good photos at a price point we can afford. Any suggestions?

Comment by Lori Pickert on November 14, 2014 at 08:51 AM

hi laura, how have they gotten broken in the past?

i know you can buy protective wraps for cameras and you can even make your own with a pack of sugru to make them more sturdy:

http://www.instructables.com/id/kick-ass-bouncy-kids-camera-made-with-su...

there are also fisher-price type digital cameras for kids — we started out with something like this when our kids were very little:

http://amzn.to/1BoyIso

when they graduated to “real” cameras, i made a camera strap so they could wear them around their necks — you can see it in that top photo in the post. i just used something i had in my stash — kept the camera from falling out of a pocket or being left behind at the park!

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