Saturday, December 25, 2010
You discover many things when you put a camera into the hands of a child. First, you realize cameras are very, very breakable. Which, depending on how much you spent on it and how badly you want to upgrade can be either a good or a bad thing.
But once you get over the whole fragility issue, you realize the advantages far outweigh the risks. They see things we'd miss. They're not encumbered by expectations of what is and is not considered normal. They're inherently more curious than we are, and see the camera as a means of exploring their world.
In many cases, they may not fully understand what they're shooting. But they know it looks neat, so they take the shot, anyway. We hear the "I liked it, so I took it" explanation quite often in our house, and we smile every time, because we don't ever want to crush their growing sense of wonder. Adulthood already does it to so many of us. It beats that childlike curiosity into submission and turns too many folks into scowling, darkened shadows of their former selves.
I'm just naive enough to believe that shoving a camera into my kids' hands and telling them to wander the neighborhood is one way to keep them thinking like kids for a little while longer. It's a lesson I may want to adopt for myself as well.
Your turn: How do you keep curiosity alive in you?