Have you ever watched a child look at a photograph of themselves? We've all witnessed people looking at the back of a camera or admiring a selfie after their photo has been taken, but for a child this is a deeper moment. When children look at their pictures, they are shaping how they see themselves. This is why it's important for children to see positive images of themselves and their peers. There used to be an old commercial for Sprite that said, "Image is everything," but really, self-image is everything.
I met a second family in historic Gettysburg while traveling in Pennsylvania for Future American President and asked them to be a part of the book project. As I photographed the children the younger daughter wanted to see her pictures from the back of my camera. She was too young to really understand what has going on and why this stranger was photographing her, but she knew her image was inside the black box I held in my hands, and she was excited to see them.
This week, take the time to photograph a child that's close to you. Maybe it's your own children getting ready to enjoy summer vacation, or maybe it's a sibling, niece or nephew. As you photograph them, step back and take a moment to let them be themselves. Make these images your wide view. Your wide view photographs will show not only your subject, but all the elements around them. That modern day car or smartphone will be old relic's fifty years from now and add context to your images. Next, move in and capture the essence of your subjects. This is your mid-range shot that makes them the focus of your image, not just a part of the image like in your wide shot. Lastly, move in close and take pictures of just their face. Big faces of kids are adorable and young children usually have a lot of fun taking pictures with the camera very close to their face. Above all have fun and remember the powerful effect a great image can have on a child.
Always Dream Big