Sunday, April 29, 2012

Children and a Camera

The  children often document their own work with the camera. It is interesting to see what they see as relevant or significant. 

Why do they choose to take the shot from a particular perspective?

Does the photographer 
capture the process or only the finished product?


I was struck by the height of the tree house conveyed in this photograph.

As I looked at this photograph, I felt that the photographer had captured  the potential of the Rube Goldberg machine that they were collaboratively creating.

What is the child's intention as they take they photo? 

Perhaps they wished that they could shrink and exist within the walls of their imagined structure.


  1. Out of curiosity, do the children even photograph things like drawings or paintings? These photos are all capturing things that are less permanent. Their effort will not be wasted if an image is captured. Great wonderings, Mary. The perspective on the last one really captures some great details of the design.

  2. Andrea, the children love to have the camera and photograph ALL of their work. Although, we often let them take pictures of their work that they are not documenting in another format...a way to preserve it. Lately, the children have been taking their pictures with their work. This has been fascinating because they collaborate with a friend to make this happen.

  3. This is fascinating - and a great research topic. I did a little looking and found a project that focused on older children (7 and up; the project was huge and while the questions the researchers asked were not as interesting as Mary's, it is - I think - still relevant. Here is a blurb from the website introduction and a link to the research analysis:

    Children as Photographers is a large-scale research project looking at how and why children take photographs. Undertaken jointly by the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, the University of Birmingham and Kodak, the project features the photographs of 180 children from five European countries - and their comments about their work. This website aims to address every possible audience for the project, and functions at the same time as an academic resource; a huge (and fun) photo album; and a unique insight into the world of children.

  4. Susan, thank you so much for the research. It was so interesting.

    It is great to leave the camera at an experience or provocation and then return and ask the children about the pictures that they have taken. The children have been concerned that Mary and I will not recognize their work when we review the pictures so one day we noticed that they had started placing themselves in the shot as they took the picture of their work. It was a great solution to their problem.