How do Kids Photograph?

Why does my 4 year old niece prefer to shoot with a point and shoot camera instead of a phone?

Perhaps because of the tactile shutter button? Or superior ergonomics?

Thoughts on Amelia photographing

Amelia (my four year old niece, whom ‘My First Photography Book‘ was dedicated to), was basically about kids and children who make photographs.

Observing Amelia make photos, here are some lessons:

  1. She has learned to tell people to ‘smile’ for the camera (she was socialized this by the family).
  2. She shoots without censoring herself
  3. When she gets bored of photographing, she puts down the camera, and does something else.

Children as the ultimate photographers

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” – Picasso

It took me 4 seconds to learn how to photograph. But as I’ve gone older, it has become difficult to retain my childlike naïveté towards photography and life.

Children as the apex artist

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Picasso

I believe strongly in this Picasso quote. When we are born, and when we are children, we are the most open, free, and excited to try new things. But as we get older, we become socialized to become more fearful, more risk averse, and more close-minded.

The wisdom of children

There is even a Heraclitus quote:

“Time is a child playing a game of draughts; the kingship is in the hands of a child.”

Why do kids photograph?

Perhaps the reason why children like to photograph:

They think of photography like playing!

To photograph is also to draw, to paint, and do other artistic/creative acts:

Should we adults photograph as children do?

Cindy and Amelia, 2016
Cindy and Amelia, 2016

I think so. Except, we can do it with more rigor, precision, and skill.

Thus perhaps the idea is:

  1. Photograph with the openness and freeness of a child
  2. Be analytical and precise with composition, editing, and post-processing like an adult.

To get a ‘barbell‘ approach with being an extreme child and extreme adult:

Best of both worlds.

Amelia Action Photos

Photos by Amelia

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By ERIC KIM

Artist-Philosopher