When Finley turned four in March, I gave him a very special present. His very own camera. And not child's toy or cheap one... a moderately priced "grown-up" camera.
I spent considerable time figuring out which one to buy—it had to be fairly easy to use with settings and navigation that he could understand. I decided on a Canon Powershot SX170 IS, partially because it looks like a miniature version of my camera (a Canon 5D Mark II) with a similar arrangement of dials. You can manually set your speed and aperture and it is lightweight with the grip and shutter button arrangement good for small hands.
Of course I was a bit wary of letting a newly-four-year-old boy have access to such an expensive object, but he has always shown respect for "his" iPad and his toys. He has always shown an interest in photography and had been documenting things with the iPad (which is really quite awkward to take photos with, especially for a child). When I'm using Instagram, Finley always has recommendations for what filter to select.
His affinity for photography and his interest in the camera and how to use it has been fantastic. It's so much fun to have a photography buddy and to see the world as framed from his perspective. He has a definite point of view and will direct his subject in order to achieve what he wants in the picture. (I guess he was learning from me all along!)
Here are some photos we've taken together, from both of our perspectives.
Each year I've made some sort of number with which I photograph Finley. This year I had wanted to finish a quilt, but since our basement flooded last November I haven't set up my sewing room and that quilt remains in limbo. Besides, he always kicks his blankets off the bed anyway! So this year's prop was quick and easy—a gigantic cardboard number that he helped paint orange... a proved to be much more fun.
I'm not immune to the pom pom craze that is sweeping Pinterest. So I made this garland that will look nice through Christmas and into the new year.
Markers are fun in lots of ways!
One evening last month, I made this elephant softie. He looks simple enough and required just a few hours from sketching out a pattern to stitching on his button eyes. Of course if I consider how long I'd been saving the fabric and that I had intended on sewing a little animal for Finley when he was first born... then this elephant took just over two years.
I've always thought that a summer sidewalk decorated with chalk makes for a happy neighbourhood. Finley isn't adept at drawing his own sidewalk art just yet, but he certainly can art direct! (It's always a train.) The chalk was left outside in a downpour and it actually applies much easier to the sidewalk when both is a bit wet—though you go through much more chalk.
Finley is learning about typing letters, though mostly he sees this on his iPad ("Mom, type train!" he says.) I'm glad I have an abundance of typewriters in the house and in the studio so that he can enjoy the physicality of typing—the effort it takes to press a key and the fun impression it leaves on a piece of paper.