Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Photography...

Vinden has now got its own camera, one that the children can use.
Each department has its own camera, but as I was using my personal one most of the time, Vindens camera was taken to the newly opened preschool...

As much as I like the children I am not going to hand over my camera to them - for a start it's too heavy for their little hands - and I think more complicated than what they need write now, as you have to use the view-finder rather than the screen.

I have to admit that was expecting the children to want to use the camera MORE... but all respect to them... they were more interested in their play. Some of them wnated to use the camera to take photos.

I presented the camera with that every child could take up to three photos every day... (as I know this group has a VERY hard time to share things with each other and a VERY big need to have control of things themselves, I thought this would be the best way in the early days to take the stress out of "will I get a turn?")



Six of the ten children there that day wanted to use the camera - only two of them used all three photo opportunities... two of them wanted to use all three when we were outside, but when I asked if they wanted to take a photo when they were inside too, they changed their minds and saved a shot for later.
My idea being that the children learn to be aware of their actions and choices and not just do things for the sake of it. The children take responsibility and are not just trigger happy...

I wonder though if this was the wrong approach, maybe I should just let the children loose with the camera... and let them take as many photos as they want...

Maybe that is what I will do tomorrow... a whole day where the camera is available to them and they can take as many as they want?
Will there be arguments over the camera (what I feared - and should I really be afraid of these arguments - well, sometimes yes, as I think not all children are in full control of their impulses right now!!). How will the children resolve the issue of how long each child should have the camera. Will there be any interest at all (none of the children asked for the camera in the afternoon. even though they knew they could - maybe they are not in the rhythm of that either?)
What will using the camera mean? Will it mean they feel like an adult, because it is usually the adult who is taking the images? If so what responsibility comes with that? OR do children view adulthood not as something that is about responsibility but about the power of making decisions and doing things they can't (this is what I think the children I work with think... that adulthood is about being able to do the things children are not "allowed" to do - this is why we are doing the den side-project to meet this need - as it is apparent that children think adults say no because we have power over children, not because 1. it's unsafe 2. we can't because we dont have it/afford it/ have access to it etc etc etc 3. we lack the skills at this time and need to learn them. etc etc etc - and yes I explain and explain... but it does feel like at the moment I am like a broken record... and it feels like they have understood, and then the following week they challenge the exact same point. I guess its all about patience and answering and re-answering...)

My own children have been taking photos since they were preschoolers - and the photos are always interesting and unique - if not always comprehensible in their topic or amount!! Sometimes not even to them afterwards...

The images the children took on Monday we have deliberatelt not shown them yet... we wanted to put some space between the action and the reflection... will they be able to tell which photo is their own? Will they remember WHY they took it. And what will they reflect as they look at the image now... did it turn out as they expected... and what would they like to take a photo of next time?

I had written a whole load more... but realised it was nothing much to do with this topic of photography... so that will be coming as a little extra post of its own...

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