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Since I began writing here at DPS, I’ve been shooting out little lists of tips for photographing children. But each little point on those lists has so much potential for further exploration in and of itself and it would be a shame not to delve deeper. Today, I am reflecting back on a post called ‘4 More Tips for Photographing Children‘. Specifically, tip #4 “Not just the kids”. The tip was this:
“Parents out there know there is never a lack of art projects for which we must find a home – a final resting place. I’ve only recently discovered the joy of photographing, not only them, but their art. It preserves it long after it has gone and takes away from the guilt on inevitably trashing it while they’re not looking. When I photograph my sons’ art, it makes them feel proud and encouraged that I think what they’re doing is important and I really love the results of thinking outside the box when photographing objects.”
I did a radio interview recently where I mentioned this tip. Interestingly, the host asked if I photograph them with their art (holding it or making it) or do I just photograph the art itself? Up until this point, I’d never really thought about my method for photographing their art and when given a moment to reflect, I realised that what I enjoy is not just taking pictures of their projects for posterity, but rather making portraits to give them a life of their own. To make art out of their art.
Yes, I often take photos of the kids painting, drawing, etc. But what I’m talking about is taking portraits without the kids involved. Place their pieces in interesting locations, give them a personality with POV. This way, their art will live forever and so will the moment of joy your children experienced when creating it.