|Never too young to take a photo.|
Hello Bliss Seekers. Do you remember how old you were when you received your first camera? I was nine years old, which was a huge deal in the 1980's. I remember it was a little grey Kodak insta-matic with a huge red shutter release button. My Mum was a photographer's assistant before I came along and my Dad and Uncle were (and still are) mad keen landscape photographers. I suppose it was inevitable that a camera came my way when I was so young.
My parents inspired my creativity by encouraging me to simply take photos of what I found interesting, beautiful, strange or funny. Consequently, the images I took as a nine year old contained a broad range of subject matter. At first glance my pictures seem to be random, but to me they held, and still hold great meaning. Thanks to the guidance of my parents, I was taking images of things that created a feeling or emotion within me. Emotions and feelings that I can recall today by simply viewing these images.
My own childhood experience set the foundation for me wanting to gift both of my children with the use of our cameras followed by their own cameras at an early age. I'm talking from the time they could hold a camera in their hands and understand the concept of pressing the shutter button to capture an image. Initially, I encouraged them to take photos of their favourite people, places and things. As they became familiar with their cameras I began to talk to them about lighting and composition. Fast forward a few years and they both have a very creative eye. My teenage son uses a DSLR with ease and has a flair for animation. My pre-teen daughter edits her own images and creates digital collages.
|Our very cool little friend Cam and his master pieces. Oh how he loved sharing my camera!|
My kid's photography has filled our lives and albums with images that I as an adult would never have taken. Images that reflect the interests, views and feelings of my children over the years. Rather then being "out of the mouths of babes", I like to think of it as being "through the eyes of babes" Of course we have plenty of silly pictures of kids doing crazy things and pulling ugly faces, as well as blurred images of matchbox cars, plastic animals, soft toys and lego buildings (thank goodness for digital cameras!), but that is exactly what makes this photo collection so fascinating. The other benefit of these images being that they have documented the creative development of my children.
Photography has given my children and I a shared interest that has encouraged lots of discussions, which have lead to some beautiful moments of bonding between us. I have watched my kids notice and appreciate the little things in life, many beautiful sunsets and endless precious family moments, to name only a few, through the lens of a camera. I have observed how they are drawn to capture images that stir an emotion or felling from within them.
Remember when your child next asks to use your camera, that the really bad photos they take, are often the ones that will hold the most meaning in the future. The image captured is as much about the story of the little one who took it, as the image itself. Trust me, your children will remember more about taking many of these photos than you think. As they get older and begin to look back on their childhoods, they will truly thank you for it. And that is why you should encourage your kids to use a camera.
Sending you much bliss, Heather xx
N.B. Obviously, digital cameras, smart phones, mobile devices and social media add a whole other layer to the idea of kids and cameras. In actual fact, that is a whole other post in itself. We have very strict rules in my house with regard to what my kids may post online, but that is not what this post is about.
All images are copyright to Heather W. and My Ocean Bliss