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The photo below might be one of my favorite ones I've ever taken. It's the not greatest aesthetically. The color is fine. The composition is nice. But, it's one of my favorites for what it means, or for what it could lead to.
This is my son. He's 7 1/2. We gave him my wife's old Nikon Coolpix for Christmas and you would have thought we gave him a brand new Leica. He loves this camera. I caught him going to sleep with it next to him in bed one night. I love that he loves this camera.
We went on a photo walk recently around our downtown area. It was an exploration; an adventure. I taught him the wonder of photography and how you can walk where others typically don't walk. You get the privilege of seeing things in a new way. We explored parking lots that we usually just drive by. We took time investigating things that we never would spend the time looking at otherwise. He ate it up.
I didn't tell him what to shoot, but when he stopped to make a photo, I asked him what he was seeing. I tried to teach him little things about composition and to shoot with intent. He's a kid and he's going to take 1,000 photos of a bush or try to make friends with an ant. I get that. I want him to do all that. Thankfully, it's a digital camera, so blurry pictures of nothing don't cost money like negatives and printing! But, I wanted him to really consider what made him stop to photograph whatever tree/sculpture/insect/fence/building and how he can make that photograph interesting.
My favorite part of our outing was all the photographs he didn't take. In the car, he kept saying, "Wow! I see all kinds of things to take pictures of." He's looking at the world with intention and curiosity. I hope that never changes.
I'm not good at a lot of things. I'm a mediocre athlete. I'm not a grill master. Animals do not fear me when I hunt. But, I do love photography and I like to think I'm always getting better at it. I'm not going to push any interest of mine on the kids. They can figure out what they enjoy on their own. But, I hope this passion sticks. And that it spreads to the other kids. I'd love for us to continue to explore the world together.