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Give Your Kids The Camera

by - Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Along the cobblestone streets of Montmartre
Before we left for vacation, I wrote a post on the BLACKS blog on the idea of giving your child control of the camera. Chloe has been asking to take photos with my smartphone and I let her use it to capture some of the summer fun we had. I thought about letting her have her own camera for our Paris trip (what fun it would be to see the city through her eyes!).

At first, I thought I'd let her use my old iPhone 3G but couldn't find the power cord. Then I thought I'd get a small point and shoot camera but I hadn't done my research in time and wasn't prepared to buy a $120+ camera. At the airport, I was tempted by the Hello Kitty digital camera at the Best Buy vending machine - but really, will a $20 camera take good quality photos? So that is how I found myself standing in front of the Eiffel tower, hanging my "good" (but old and needs a cleaning) Nikon D80 DSLR on Chloe's slight frame.

The scene outside Musee D'Orsay
I had my Tamron 18-200 lens on the camera body so had to teach her how to hold the long lens with one hand and focus and depress the shutter with the other hand. She looked pretty cute, a 5 year old mini photographer, but I had a constant fear that the strap would slip off her neck and the camera would crash to the floor. You see, that exact scenario happened seven years ago in a Paris hotel room on the first day of my honeymoon, when my brand new D80 camera slipped off my strap, fell to the floor, and bent the kit lens. The camera has never been quite right since. Taking it back to Paris has been a test of sorts, a bit cathartic, seeing if the the old camera has it in her to capture the sights and sounds of my most favourite city in the world.

It has been the biggest treat to go through the photos and see the ones that Chloe took. I love photography so to see her embrace it too has been really fun. Some of the photos are blurry and there are too many photos of her feet to count, but she did really well. With a little creative cropping and photoshop magic, I brought more of that Paris feeling to what she captured.

View of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero
I think I underestimate sometimes what Chloe and kids in general of capable of. The line between trust and keeping her safe is a difficult one for me to tread - and sometimes, I might be holding her back a little because it really just is out of my comfort zone (though not out of her abilities). Who knew that handing over my camera would make me grow up and would make letting her grow up too a little bit easier?

All photos by Chloe, processed using photoshop actions by The Yummy One

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