Mom, Me, and Photography

May 6, 2013


Seeing the world from a child’s perspective, being inspired by their creativity, sharing their enthusiasm for learning a craft that we are deeply passionate about — put a camera in the hands of a child and watch these things unfold.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we are showcasing how some of the Light Inspired forum members share their love of photography with their children.


Felicia McTernan | Felicia McTernan Photography
Daughter: Taylor, age 10
Shooting with: Nikon D700, 35mm + 85mm

Taylor started learning to shoot in manual last year and has loved learning from her Mama. And I love having the chance to share something that is so special to me with my oldest baby. Teaching her about camera settings is such a fun moment for me to be a part of. I love watching her face while she struggles to remember or light up when she realizes she has gotten it! I notice she watches me while I shoot and edit now. She’ll ask questions about what I’m doing or why I’ve done something. It really is pretty awesome to see she has a serious interest in it.


Kelly Chadwick | Kelly Chadwick Photography
Daughter: Jessica, almost 8
Shooting with: Holga 120N

I bought Jessie a Holga last May, when she turned 7.  Being a film shooter, it was a no-brainer that Jessie’s first camera would be a Holga.  She took to it right away and learned the settings faster than I could teach them to her.  It’s been so fun watching her compose her shots more carefully now that she understands how valuable each frame is.  One of our favorite things to do is go out on photography adventures, just the two of us.  Jessie will select which film stock she wants to shoot, loads it up herself and out we go.  Things that I dismiss as not being ‘film-worthy’ Jessie will shoot.  I love seeing the world from her perspective!  I’ve also taught her some Lightroom basics.  She knows how to import her film scans, crop, tweak angles, add noise reduction, spot for dust, and export at the proper size and to her own folder on my desktop.  She even has her own Flickr page now and she thinks it’s “super cool” when people comment on her images.  Now there are two people in the house impatiently complaining about waiting for their film to come back from the lab, much to my husband’s dismay.  I love having a film buddy!



Jen Lucas | Jen Lucas Photography
Son: Charlie, age 6
Shooting with: iPhone 4S

Charlie, 6, has been (stealing) using my phone for a couple years.  Hilariously, he documents his little borrowing episodes by capturing both video and still of his environment, leaving no room for denial later!  It amazes me how the iPhone technology is so intuitive to children, and yet I stumbled around it with seemingly oversized thumbs for months.  I haven’t taught Charlie anything iPhoneololgy related; it’s more that I point out building shadows, how light filters through trees on a summer day, how the light on sunny days changes the color of the apple on the counter just in our every day conversation.  His work has evolved from taking blurry shots of his favorite toys to some comps that have paralleled what I was learning in an advanced composition class last fall. Charlie is my most creatively leaning kiddo, and seeing the world through his eyes is absolutely fascinating.  What a gift to me to see a glimpse of what goes on in that adorable brain!


Amanda Zuech | American Honey Photography
Daughter: Sydney, age 10
Shooting with: Canon Rebel, 50mm + macro extension tubes

My 10 year old daughter has been shooting with my Canon Rebel for about a year now.  She shoots in auto mode but turns the flash off and is learning to rely on only natural light.  She frequently sets up photo shoots with her puppy, Minnie, her friends, and she loves taking nature photos too.  She also likes taking the camera along to the flea market and capturing photos of things she finds interesting.  She wants to learn more about editing her photos and hopes to take more photos over summer vacation.  All of these photos included are straight out of the camera, and she has had me add a pink haze to each one because it’s her favorite look for her photos!


Jill Serrano | Jill Serrano Photography
Daughter: Ava, age 3
Shooting with: Nikon N80

I have been trying to get my daughters into photography a little more now they are getting a little older. One day I was outside taking some pictures of my own family and decided to hand off my 35mm film camera (Nikon N80) to my 3-year old, Ava, to finish off a roll for me. I set the camera up for her (Aperture priority mode) and let her have a go. She lit up like a Christmas tree. She was quickly running off to photograph our family members (and me) however, she seemed to like photographing the leaves and dirt the most. It was so much fun watching her. I was so excited to see the film scans and saw that she actually did a pretty good job! Someday, as long as they express interest, I would love to start really teaching them about photography and shooting in manual.


Karen Jacot | Karen Jacot Photography
Son: Lyle, age 6
Shooting with: Canon Powershot A1200

Lyle is six-and-a-half now.  We first gave him a camera when he was 3, but that one was just a toy.  We gave him his current Canon point-and-shoot (Canon Powershot A1200) for Christmas when he was 5.  I haven’t tried to teach him any technical things yet, but I have given him some suggestions — like to take lots of pictures of one thing and try different angles and sides and try close up and far away.  He likes taking pictures because he thinks “it’s cool” and he likes to have pictures of things he thinks are pretty.  I love seeing what is important enough to him to photograph, and conversely what things he doesn’t bother to take photos of.  He mostly right now documents objects that he likes.


Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope you all are inspired to hand your camera to one of your children today and perhaps get in the frame for a change!


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  • Reply Amanda May 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Love Love Love! ♥

  • Reply Jen May 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    So sweet & lots of talent here!

  • Reply Jennifer Tait May 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I love this post. So awesome to read thru.

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