My daughter, all of almost 2 and a half years old, LOVES anything that she isn't suppose to touch. This makes her a very typical toddler. Maybe this is how it is with all kiddos, I am sure; but Sadie's desire for wanting said object is rooted in her firm belief that she is not a toddler. She is merely a vertically challenged person who is a bit clumsy (she, of course, sees all those traits in me). If Mommy can do it, use it, wear it, drink it, eat it (you get the idea) - so. can. she. Now bring Mommy's camera into the picture.
I did the research. Really. My 5 year old niece got a camera for Christmas from Grandma and Papa. Big and colorful and chunky. Cute, right? The recommended age is 5+. Ok, understandable. It takes coordination, it takes responsibility. I get it. I simply can not wait almost 3 more years for her to have her own. Several companies make kiddie cameras. I looked into them all. Cheapest? About $50. All the bells and whistles? Around $80. They all have tiny screens and most are PC only. Here is where my rationalization takes over. I'm a photographer - I want my cake and I want to eat it too. I want to shoot my images and I want to hold them in my hands. My daughter in no different.
So, while we were at my printers yesterday (Lovelovelove Fullerton Cameras!) I asked about used digital point&shoots. Chris, one of my favorite people and my scan/ print guru, helped me pick one for her. It's a Nikon Coolpix L22. Yes, there was one $10 cheaper, but it had way too many buttons & knobs on it that I just envision snapping off before we made it to the car. And it is used, so I'm getting a deal. And I'm supporting the little guy by buying from a small business and not from a company on the NYSE.
Her camera has a large screen, a big fat shutter button for her little fingers, it's not too clunky for her small hands, and a 2M card gives her 250 images with good resolution. AND I still spent less money than the kiddo cameras.
So I get her in the car - once she's strapped in, she gets her present. I try to give her a quick demo/ rundown of how it works. Forget it - *I do it myself, Momma* Yes ma'am. You've got it.
|She's very excited to be doing it herself!|
The 25 minute drive - she snapped, giggled, snapped some more, giggled some more, lots of *Cheese!* requests from the peanut gallery, and a few more giggles. I'm sure people next to us wondered why there was a strobe light in the back of my car. Her camera had 82 images on it.
|Her first self portrait|
|Her view from the back seat|
Now I understand that every mother thinks their child is brilliant and artistic and a natural at everything. But I'm pretty certain that, while she is not a savant, she will be incredible at whatever she chooses to do - her strong will and independent nature will take her far. I cannot wait to watch her grow up and make her own choices. Ok, yes, I can. But for now, I am beaming with pride that she wants and loves her camera.
|Sadie's homage to one of my favorite painters, Mark Rothko|
(Ok, it's really just her fingers over the lens but work with me here.)
Now say *Cheese!*