Childhood. Wonder. Meaningful play. Exploration. Discovery. Joy. Fun. Pride. Passion.
My grandson (who JUST turned four) visited this past weekend. Yes, he is probably spoiled because I allowed him to use my good laptop and my old digital camera.
He told me “your old computer is too slow and the screen jumps when it has been on too long.” He maneuvers very deftly from “The Wiggles” to “PBS Kids” to “Playhouse Disney” and takes great pride in showing his grandmother the latest Disney movie trailers.
The camera we gave him for Christmas last year, he told us, didn’t take very good pictures and therefore he thinks he needs a new one. He’s probably right; the 2.0 mega pixel Fischer Price is more like a toy than a real camera.
So, to see if he really was ready for a different camera I let him use my old camera. I showed him a framed picture that I had taken with the old camera and proudly announced “This camera is not a toy. It is a good camera that can take nice pictures.”
He took his practice time with the camera very seriously; exploring and discovering what could be done with a “real” camera. From a very early age he has been exposed to photography. His father, his grandmother, and a couple of very close family friends are all photographers. He knew instinctively (without any coaching) when one image was better than another.
So, what is the “moral” of this post. As a retired teacher, I believe that a child’s “play” can often times be a look in to the future.
Will my grandson be the next “Ansel Adams?” Gosh, who knows. But I DO know that each and every experience he has, and every new discovery he makes, helps mold and shape who he is; sometimes in even the smallest ways.
If you have an old camera, I urge you to allow a child the opportunity to experience the joy of capturing an image with it. Share your love and passion for photography with others.