Photography & Photoshop

If You Give A Kid A Camera…

…he’ll take pictures. And chances are, he might even win a super duper prize. Or at least he’ll learn to really see and appreciate the world around him.  And that would be enough.

But, if you are interested in a super duper prize, read on.

Earlier in the week, I got an email from National Geographic announcing their children’s photography contest called See The Bigger Picture.  It said that entries should be “images illustrating plants, animals or anything that captures biodiversity”.  The prize is an all expense paid trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC and a chance to meet with esteemed photojournalist Joel Sartore.   That folks, is a super duper prize.  I love DC, I love National Geographic and I would love to meet Joel Sartore.

Aside:  If you are looking for a beautiful and user friendly photography book, check out  Sartore’s book Photographing Your Family — And All The Kids And Friends And Animals Who Wander Through Too. I reviewed it awhile back and it was absolutely delightful. It’s less about the mechanics of photography than the art of the composition and capturing those moments. (You should click over just to see the cover of the book.)

The deadline to enter the contest is September 8th, so you have the rest of the summer to get the kiddos out snapping pictures of something biodiversic (just made that word up).  The contest is open to kids ages 6-14. You can go here to get all the details.

Since Sean won’t turn six until after the deadline, y’all stand a chance of winning.  Here’s one of his recent compositions.


He thought this tree trunk looked like a man’s face.  And I do too.  I love the way he sees the world and I love how he makes me stop to see his world.

* * * * *

Okay, if you are having trouble seeing the man in the tree, it could be because you are over four foot tall.  Here is Sean’s explanation:


15 thoughts on “If You Give A Kid A Camera…

  1. And speaking of the artsy soul you both seem to have… I kept thinking of you on Monday. (You’ve experienced this strange blog world phenomenon of thinking of people you’ve never even met,perhaps?)

    We were finishing up our vacation in St. Louis, and went to The City Museum.
    Oh my goodness.

    It’s a “museum” fashioned entirely out of recycled and recovered items– especially architectural elements– from the city of St. Louis. I have been around, but I honestly don’t think I have ever seen anything so fantastically creative in my life! And so fun. It defies description, really.

    I thought of you and your boy there for two reasons: the art and the play. Not sanitized for your protection play (They expect you to exercise–get this!- common sense). It’s like a fantastic urban jungle. The caverns are amazing. You could explore there several times and still be discovering new holes to go down or through in quirky, unexpected locations.

    I hope you have the opportunity to discover this place for yourself with Sean someday.

    * * *
    We will be in St.Louis in the near future and will make a point to stop and see it! Thanks for the tip! Sounds EXACTLY like the kind of thing we would like. ~AM

  2. I’m not getting the face . . but I can “see” a squirrel curled up asleep in a nest!

  3. Oh MY! My 14 yr. old daughter LOVES to take photos and recently won a little online contest – NOTHING like this prize, though! I can’t wait to tell her about this! Thank you!

    (I see the face.)

  4. I love how kids make you see thing from a new perspective.

    * * *
    And not just ’cause they’re shorter either. ~AM 🙂

  5. Interesting that the contest is not open to US residents….my kids would have loved to try!

    * * *
    No, it IS open to US residents ages 6-14 and then for some reason, international residents ages 6-16 (or something like that, check the site). I didn’t want to put all that in the post because it’s on their site. Check it again! 🙂

  6. Another Picasso! I have trouble with the abstract and those old/young lady photos. I seen an interesting photo and animals!

    Yes, I agree. I love the photo it is craetive.

  7. Oh, I totally saw the face! But then my Chas is much like Sean, so I am well trained. Thanks for the heads-up, I will look at the site and see if we can enter. My boys have taken a meeeeelion photos lately, and all of biodiverse things. Mostly. Except for the matchbox car crashes. And self-portraits with funny faces.

  8. I thought it was a sqirrel in a nest at first, too! Thanks so much for the contest info. I have a son very interested in photography. 🙂

  9. Interesting picture…it’s amazing what kids see when they are looking at the world from their perspective. I saw a egg in a nest! But I like Sean’s viewpoint!

    I tagged you in the meme “8 things about me”. Hope you’ll participate! Let me know if you do, so I can read it!

  10. I saw the face too, but I love the explanation. He is good. I guess he gets it from his Mama 🙂 I wish my kiddo was old enough because he’s been taking a lot of pictures lately. Of feet. And signs on the street. But he’s taken a few that are pretty good. I just let him loose the other day and he took 57 pictures – so of course I did a blog post about it, haha! I need to get him his own camera, I think. Does Sean have one?

    * * *
    I gave Sean one of my old digital cameras, the kind where the battery fizzes after about five pictures. And that got old in a hurry for both of us. So lately I’ve been letting him use my Nikon CoolPix which is a really nice small camera with a regular rechargeable battery.

    I had a strong word with him about respecting it and not setting it down somewhere and ALWAYS using the wrist strap. And so far so good.

    In terms of subject matter, you might have to give your kiddo a little direction about possible good subjects (other than feet – although feet can be interesting, and shoes too.) For inspiration, get a book of photographs from the library and sit down and look through it with your kiddo. National Geographic magazines are also a great source for photographic inspiration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *