Last spring, in a desperate attempt to get a shot of myself in a shirt I had just made, and with my tripod nowhere to be found, I handed my expensive digital SLR camera to my then 2 year-old son, Little Buddha. He had been begging to use my camera for awhile, but I had been hesitant to put such a pricey piece of breakable equipment into his hands. I was pleasantly surprised with his best shot. When I blogged it, Rachel suggested that perhaps I could get him some cheapy digital camera to practice with. I passed this idea on to my parents who were asking what to get the boys for their 3rd birthday last May. The gifts were a hit, and Little Buddha became an instant shutterbug (Tiny Dancer likes the camera fine, but not in the same sort of obsessive way as his brother and his mother).
It has been a delightful thing to see LB's developing eye for composition and color. Of course there are hazards to handing a camera, even a cheap and theoretically indestructible one, to a 3 year-old. Most notably - he is at the perfect height to get numerous shots of people's backsides, as well as tummy rolls and the underside of double chins. Not pretty, my friends. Not pretty. Still, I'm thrilled to support his new hobby.
He took his camera on our vacation this summer, and played the role of the tourist quite well.
Then one afternoon at the beach, he got out his camera and simply went to work with it, without any of the rest of us noticing him quietly clicking away. When I uploaded his pics, I was astonished not only with the quality of the composition, but with the fact that he clearly actively worked to develop several different compositions of the same subject matter.
The Coca-Cola Series
In the next set, he manipulated not only the objects in the photo, but also his own perspective. What I love about these is that I personally rarely think to photograph a person without their face (unless I am doing a shot of myself modeling something I made and am specifically trying to focus on the handmade object). It is hard for me to think outside my own conventions on this count, so I was particularly impressed to see what he came up with here - much better, I think, than if he had included my face. I also really love the combination of the white tabletop, white mug, and white MacBook, with the little bit of pink top (handmade, of course!) and the unexpected black plastic beetle.
The Mommy-Mac-Mug-Bug Series
I don't know that I would ever have thought to get a camera for a 3 year-old if it hadn't been for Rachel's encouragement - yet another example of how the craftblog community is supporting me in my own efforts to support my kids' creativity.
So keep those ideas coming. The contest is still on, till midnight October 8th. So please make sure to leave your idea about nurturing a culture of creativity in the home. Creativity is however you define it, too - it doesn't just pertain to crafts, or visual arts, or music. I've gotten great comments so far, so if you haven't had a chance to read them yet, check them out.