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  1. #1
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Snippets on Seeing Child Photography Creatively

    Photographing children is a creative journey that has no fixed rules and is full of energy and the unexpected. This is how I see life.

    How do you experience life? We all come from such a diverse range of backgrounds which influences not just "what" but also "how" we see through the viewfinder of a camera.

    A child running through a field: I look for the jubilation in its face and feel its energy and joy whilst panning with the camera. A naked child refuses to wear anything but a santa hat: I love how the light plays with its forms and cheekiness and I see the innocence. Others might see this and find it disturbing or shy away. A child shy in a corner hugging bear, or confidently moving across the backyard dragging her favourite doll through the grass. This is what life is about.

    Often I photograph the subject looking away. This may reflect some of my own insecurities or shyness. Photographing with direct eyecontact can be confronting but not worth anything unless I connect with the subject. I need to know they can see me, not just the lens. Each child will react differently to allowing themselves to be photographed, depending on their level of confidence in themselves and in me as the photographer.

    I was told "Women will never make as good a photographer as men as they are too emotional". If I didn't use my emotion, my photos would be meaningless to me... how could I then expect my work to touch anyone else? Passion is a flame that comes from within. It's important to keep it alive in everything we see.

    Best wishes,
    Nicole

    http://www.nicoleboenigmcgrade.com
    Last edited by Nicole; 07-09-2007 at 09:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Thanks! Good thoughts.

    And sometimes they are hard to find...my triplets, just left of center.

    Vaughn
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BoysPRCSP.jpg  

  3. #3
    bjorke's Avatar
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    "Women will never make as good a photographer as men as they are too emotional"

    Spoken like a true rocks and trees man.

    You may like the Jeff Curto podcast lecture on women in photographic history

    (associated presentation slides)


    Chansonetta Stanely Emmons, around 1900
    Last edited by bjorke; 08-18-2007 at 05:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  4. #4
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Thanks for your thoughts, Nicole, and thanks for the link, Bjorke. I'm a big fan of Emmons, above. Wonderful stuff, and I'm listening to his lecture!

  5. #5
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    "Women will never make as good a photographer as men as they are too emotional"

    Do people really still think this? To me photography is all about emotions, as your photographs and writings demonstrate so well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here Nicole.
    Last edited by Ian Leake; 06-24-2007 at 08:59 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Spelling :-(

  6. #6

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    Women and Children

    Nicole, Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experiences with us. You are an inspiration and living proof that women can and always will make great photographers. This is especially true when photographing other women and children as the subject, I imagine, will relax far quicker.

    On the subject of emotions and photography, I believe that history is full of examples of highly emotional artists, male and female. Personally I believe that the trully best work is done by people with an emotional nature and that the act of creation, for most of us, is an emotional experience. At least I hope it is.

    Regards
    An Emotional Male

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Leake View Post
    "Women will never make as good a photographer as men as they are too emotional"

    Do people really still think this? To me photography is all about emotions, as your photographs and writings demonstrate so well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here Nicole.
    I suspect so and think the origins were along the same lines as motoring being for men as 'women could not possibly understand the complexities of the internals combustion engine'. Whereas in 'Victorian Dad's' era motoring was all about constantly working to get the blinking thing working (and therefore for macho mechanical heros) photography also involved getting dirty with chemicals and lugging big cameras about that were totally unsuitable for the daintier sex (said in an olde English accent, sporting a well groomed mustache, smoking jacket and erect posture). There are plenty of people who still hold the same opinions about motoring so I assume it is the same about photography. 3 seconds in a car showroom or garage for a woman usually shows this to be the case....and when a woman demonstrates great knowledge she has 'clearly done it to make a point and humiliate men' rather than because she is that way inclined. And no, that did not mean what some of you might think it meant!!!!

  8. #8

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    We like to be right...if I am right and someone disagrees with me they have to be wrong. That is classic male hierarchical thinking. Not that all males think that way. There can be many ways out of the woods. Some direct, some not. Some fast and some not. If we all stop and listen we will hear the muses singing to us. Your post brings to mind what I see as important for me in photography. Sharing my vision of this world with others. Some may agree; many may not. Thanks for taking the risk. Thanks more for sharing your perspective. Looking forward to more.
    Luke

    To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.

    Georgia O'Keefe

  9. #9
    dferrie's Avatar
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    "Women will never make as good a photographer as men as they are too emotional"

    Maybe I am naive, but it never occured to be to think about the gender of the photographer. When I look at a photograph my first instinct is "do I like it?" and from there it's why do I like or dislike it, what can I take from it, what can I learn from it....

    Now that I think about the gender issue, I feel that for me their isn't an gender issue, it's all about the image. I now wonder if people who hold the view that the skill/ability of a photographer is dictated by the photographers gender, do these people also feel that the photographer's race or nationality plays a role in the photographers ability to capture a great image. I hope not, I had hoped that people were moving past gender bias.

    All that said, I do feel that when it comes to photographing children in public places, that socially it is more acceptable for a woman to be seen doing so that it is for a man. As a parent I would probably be guilty of this bias. If I saw a woman in a public park photographing children I would not be concerned, however if it was a man I would probably be more concerned about his motivations, is this unfair bias, maybe. Is it a product of the times we live in? yes I think so.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it was an interesting and thought provoking article.



 

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