So since the beginning, my five-year-old has become accustomed to me taking out my camera all the time and seeing me on the computer to edit the photos.
She understands it it's mommy's job to take photos of other people in my business. Recently, she's been really interested in using my camera to take pictures. we always joke as a family that she's a better photographer than my mom because she knows how to use my huge DSLR camera. When I was looking at some things online the GoPro type of camera caught my eye. I couldn't afford or justify spending $300 and an actual GoPro so I got the Chinese knockoff "Geek pro." It was only $70, but the reviews have been really good. I decided to buy it for my business. I really wanted to get more behind-the-scenes footage of me working with clients. And as an extra bonus- having a kid-proof, water-proof camera for my five year old to use would be a great start for her as well. As soon as I pull it out of the box she was so excited. She want to take pictures of everything. She started off slow- taking pictures of the trashcan, her sock, and the bookshelf.
And then she started being more creative with her shots. She brought the camera with her on the swing, down the side, in the backyard, laying on her back, and anywhere else she was around the house. I even let her bring it to the children's museum with us one time.
As she was shooting more, you could see her little brain working. You could see her little face scrunch up with ideas. You could see her self-correct when she saw an image that she didn't like. Then her little eyes started to see how I see the world. She started to see the light coming in from our little house windows. She started noticing that dark rooms= dark photos and light rooms= light photos.
She started to see colors and textures that were interesting to her. Instead of walking around the children's museum to simply play- she was looking for a particular shot or look. She began looking up and around her. I love how she started asking for a Camera all the time. I love how she began to realize that it was a part of her- part of telling a story.
She cared less for perfection and more about feeling, emotion and pleasure. When a fun moment was happening- she wanted to capture it- knowing that a photo is forever.
She started taking pictures of things she cared about- like her brother, her toys, or her room. She started to direct things so that she can tell a better story. She started to take things out of the picture that she knew she didn't want to have, like distractions. She also started directing me to pose or to have her brother to do things that she wanted.
As I was watching her shoot, and really helped me look at the world in a different way. When you ask an adult to take photos, they take photo standing up because that's where their world is. Well, my daughter who is five, was on the floor most of the time taking photos. She was also on the ground because that's where her world is. She peeked around corners, looked through doll houses, made her brother laugh in a genuine way, and saw her world differently than I do.
She was constantly on the move and her little GoPro couldn't handle the low shutter speeds but sometimes it worked out in her favor and had some really cool motion in her photos that she didn't mean to put in there.
____________________ Another thing I learned about her taking pictures is how kids don't care how messy your house is or how you look, they just want to see the love and the fun things that they're doing all the time.
She asked me to put them on her computer and edit them just like I do my photos. 329 photos later we sat down together at the computer and talked about each image. She was really excited about some images and then she was able to say "I don't like this image." She was beginning to curate her own photos.
I learned that I don't have to be perfect to be perfect and in child's eyes. A lot of the adults get so scared when they take a photo saying "Make sure you Photoshop my hair out or make me look skinnier." But in reality that's not real life. What our children see through their eyes- that's the reality- messy hair and all .
You'll be surprised what you learn when you give your child a camera.
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