Sunday, June 18, 2006
Composition by Dahlia. Deerfield Beach, Florida, December 2006.
I'm not the only one in my family who likes to shoot pictures. When we were on vacation last winter, we bought our eldest son his first real camera. We went on walkabouts and took pictures of a landscape that had been significantly altered by the 2005 hurricane season.
His little sister didn't want to be left out. So I took her on walkabouts, too. What shocked me about both of them was how similarly they approached the process. They both talked themselves through each composition decision, taking ample time to observe the scene from a number of perspectives before taking the shot. They both ended up taking pictures that were very much unconventional and unique.
Aside from confirming once again that the apples didn't fall far from the tree, they gave me a chance to share a passion that I've had since I was their age. I learned that fatherhood isn't just about maintaining daily schedules and ensuring the fridge is full. I learned that dads can connect with their kids in simple ways that don't fit the rigid stereotypes of parenthood. Although my wife is the real artist in our family, I hope the time we spent then - and since - has helped them appreciate that they, too, have the power to view their world through a unique set of eyes, and share their vision with those who love them.
Your turn: How do you get kids to be passionate about creativity and discovery? Any suggestions?