Behind the Camera

When I was cleaning out the laundry this week I came across my very first digital camera; 10 years old, only 1.2MP, no zoom, just point and shoot. And it still worked! This would be Jack’s camera. I hoped he would enjoy using it but I had no idea how much he would love it. He’s pretty much had it attached to his wrist for the last three days! At first he was just randomly snapping but after a simple demonstration, he became much more focussed.

Jack loves taking pictures so much that I can really see this camera, this new language, becoming another way for him to express himself creatively; a way for him to represent his world. The Hundred Languages of Children is a pivotal part of the Reggio Emilia Approach. Each language or material (in this case, the camera)

‘…ha[s] the power to engage children’s minds, bodies and emotions. Their evocative power call the children into the processes of weaving what they have already experienced in the world with their new perceptions and sensibilities. In this way children continue to build and rebuild, through the materials, an ever-expanding awareness and understanding of the world and their place in it.’ ~ Louise Boyd Cadwell

So after a couple days taking pictures at home, Jack and I took our cameras with us on a bush walk. The wildflowers are in full bloom, the weather was beautifully warm, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect afternoon.

I have been having a think about how we can incorporate Jack’s photos into his project work; his investigations. I have a few ideas. I think we should start small. He took a picture of these two flowers Sarah collected and we added them to the nature table. We looked through the photos when we got home and Jack recognised the flowers. Not much more beyond this though yet.

At the moment I just want him to get a feel for the camera. Once he is more comfortable with how it works, he’ll tell me what he wants to do next. So, I guess I just have to wait.

In the evening, before bed, Jack draws in his journal. He chooses what he wants to draw and on these two nights he drew himself taking pictures. I love that this is what he remembers most about his day. Today I bought him one of those digital photo frames so we can put his photos on display on his project shelf. I know he is going to really enjoy seeing his pictures up there.Yep, I think I am really going to love having my little photographer by my side.

* I have to mention that because of Jack’s stability, there were a lot of photos which were out of focus. These were the photos he liked the best.

13 Replies to “Behind the Camera”

  1. Allowing our children to explore and express themselves is so important. Adding the digital picture frame was a great way for him to enjoy the photos.

    1. I have really been so thrilled with how much he has loved taking pictures. I have set the digital camera frame up for tomorrow so I hope he likes it.

  2. I love this idea… letting the child photograph his world as he sees it and beginning to gain a new skill, language, at such an early age!

    1. He surprises me. There are some things which I would imagine typically children would be interested in and he just isn’t and then there are other things that he just grabs hold of and runs with; I think photography is going to be one of those things.

  3. Brilliant! I gave my old digital camera to Aaron a few months ago, he’s really enjoyed being able to take his own photos. I love the idea of using a digital photo frame to display them!

    1. And they take the sweetest photos, don’t they? They have a completely different perspective. Jack has taken a lot of photos of his shadow in different places, his feet doing different things, clouds, flowers, things I don’t really notice. I love looking through his photos at the end of the day and see what has snapped.

  4. What a great way for Jack to express himself! Who knows? Maybe someday He’ll be a famous photographer. I’d love to see more of his work when you have the time!

    1. We have so many photos already, I think I’ll put some more up soon. I am encouraging him to photograph his work, likes his block sculptures or the things he makes on the light panel, that way we can use them for inspiration next time. He is really loving it.

  5. Added bonus: mama in the picture sometimes!

    1. I know! That’s what my hubby said too. It’s been a while since Ive had any pictures of me 😀

  6. Yes, I’ve had similar experiences with young ones and cameras. So much fun! My 10yo is in possession of our first ever digital camera (goodness, it’s heavy!). My youngest had my old digital camera, on which the latch on the battery compartment was broken. For a long while I could hold it together with tape and a rubber band, but it won’t work anymore, and the camera thinks it has no battery. (Such a silly reason to not work anymore.) If I ever get to replace my current version with a digital SLR, she’ll get her own digital camera again.

    (I have a post about her photos here: http://abh21.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/kid-photojournalism/)

    1. There are so many pictures of my feet and legs too! The world looks very different from a metre of the ground doesn’t it? 😀 This little camera though is really light and small, just the size of a credit card. I bought it when we were living in Japan; there was nothing like that here at the time. It really is perfect for Jack; small, light, no zoom and a rechargeable battery. I was so thrilled when I found it. See what happens when you clean out a room… 😀

  7. Some great points made here and observations.
    I’ve always wondered how to encourage and display my little one’s photography. I think the digital frame is a fab idea ♥

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