capturing the moments

I’ve spent much of today putting together a slideshow for our leavers’ assembly.  I take a huge number of photos of the children I work with: to record progress, to celebrate achievements, to share with parents.  But mostly, to be honest, I take them, because I’m fascinated by how the right image can capture and convey the essence of each individual.  I’ve become slightly obsessed by learning the art and science of how best to do that.  Over the last couple of terms, I’ve persisted and gradually got them used to it, so they don’t pose as much, just accept I’m the one with the camera glued to her hand.  For some kids, it’s even better, having the camera there makes me invisible, so they act differently.

When I started looking through, I had over 1500 images of this term, which I’ve whittled down to just under 300.  We’ve added a soundtrack,which is a little Disney for my tastes.  I am mortally offended by my colleagues’ verdict that I wasn’t allowed to choose “any of your folky indy stuff”, and feel my artistic integrity has been compromised.

Now it’s done, and I’m just so bloody proud of my work.  I hope that the parents like it more than posed formal shots, but to be honest, I don’t really care.  I know it captures those children, and the time they’ve spent with us.

Now I feel the urge to go away and spend the summer photographing my own children,who are apparently mature, intelligent and a pleasure to teach, according to their reports (and even in B’s case, prone to producing ‘lyrical miracles’- the mind boggles…)



Filed under photography, preschool

6 responses to “capturing the moments

  1. Sugar

    The Sb’s (or not so SB’s) summer of 2011 in pictures would be fun,.. do they have their own camera(s) so you could get life from their POV too? I’m planning on taking as many shots as I can over the 2 wk hol in the USA and am going to get K used to using her camera and I think I’ve just nicked your slide show – complete with appropriate music (Obviosly Disney – natch you’ll love it) and shove it onto a DVD for K to watch (and watch and watch)

  2. If you can get great non posed photos of little children then you are a bloody genius! They always move at the wrong time and blur! The slide show sounds great, even with your artistic integrity in the selection of music breached. Also sounds like a fun project for you and the SB’s this summer.

    • Sometimes blur works though. I think the criteria for a great photo are different if you’re capturing children. Technically perfect pictures are very hard, but portrait photography is as much art as science. It’s definitely not genius, but it is down to patience, persistence and familiarity. Getting down to their level, waiting and waiting (I must’ve spent hours lying on the floor to get the angle I wanted- children now just accept this and step over me as part of the furniture!) and then knowing which moments just define that child.

  3. dawn

    If it was my kids I’d be overjoyed that someone had spent so much time recording the year and would love it. Are you going to let the parents have copies if they want them? (fund raising….??)

    • I’m selling copies in aid of the Staff Night Out Fund…

      • dawn


        I wonder what feedback the children give in response to parents saying “what did you do today?” Well we sneaked into the big school and planted lots of things where we weren’t allowed to and I stood on Nicola lots cos she was lying on the floor….

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