Alex, my five-year-old assistant
A few months before his 5th birthday Alex asked if he could have a camera. As parents, Hether and I have been dancing that fine line between introducing our kids to new activities without pushing any on them. It took two gymnastics classes for Alex to declare that he didn’t like it (even if lots of boys attended.)
My son wanted a camera. I contained my excitement and did my best to maintain perspective. I assured myself he would tire and forget about it in a few days. I gave him a nice, older point-and-shoot with basic instructions.
The camera lives in a safe spot within his reach (Gracie, 3, doesn’t touch it). He has yet to lose interest. At random times, Alex will carefully hang the camera around his neck, remove the lens cap and take pictures. It is one of several “toys” he is very careful with. It is always turned off, capped and returned to its spot. The camera comes out for special occasions and sometimes it is used to simply document life. I do my best to correct and give him “secrets” to better photos. Periodically, I remove the card and peek – he makes me proud.
I agreed to photograph Emily and Jaime’s engagement session last Saturday. Emily came in from Atlanta and Jaime flew in from San Francisco. Saturday’s weather chose to not cooperate. While Sundays are traditionally family days, we agreed that it was the best option for everybody.
As I staged my gear, Alex asked if he could come assist me. I agreed. He grabbed his camera and asked for a lens cleaning cloth that could be his forever. I gave him one and he asked me to take an extra battery for his camera (nice to know he’s paying attention).
I loaded the car and brought Grandpa along as Alex’s handler.
Shortly after warming up to Jaime and Emily, Alex was not interested in running around Guthrie Green – he also wanted to take pictures of the nice couple. I let him. He was kneeling and shooting at one point.
He was truly working.
Emily’s dad joined us. True to most of my Sundays, it became an official family affair.
We took a break at Laffa where “limited menu” escaped my son. He politely asked for and got shrimp and orange soda.
He took more pictures and left to look for trains.
Made it home with daylight after a much-deserved trip to Braum’s. I posted a photo I took of Alex on facebook before grabbing his camera from its safe spot.
Rookie mistakes included- here’s some of what i found on his memory card.