Photographing Childhood Memories
Reliving your childhood memories is a fascinating photographic project that can provide hours of pleasant experiences but can also make for an interesting and rewarding project. Very few experiences can shape your adult stage as those fond memories when you were innocent and growing up; experiencing life for the first time.
Think of all of your memories as a child; places where you grew up, your favorite playtime activities and the places where you played them, your favorite games, places you visited, your favorite toys, your friends. When your dad taught you how to ride a bike or how to roller skate, or took you into the park and taught you the wonders of nature. Remember the birds and the bees speech?
If for example you had a favorite playground that you visited often and there there was a favorite slide or swing, consider going back to that place or at least finding a similar slide or swing and photographing it. Locate some of your old toys, if they still exit or similar ones and capture their image. Your favorite location like a park and attraction, a tree house or simple hideaway, take their photos. You objective, but the most difficult aspect of this project, is to pass or rather infuse unto the viewer, the feelings and emotions felt by you when you were there.
Use symbolism if your subject is not available, try to infuse the emotions into the shot. Old toys will probably be the most difficult element to find, but antique stores should be able to provide you with some assistance in this regard.
Did you have a favorite snack or food when young, like ice cream? Why not take an image of an ice cream cone, or those juicy Bazooka bubble gum that came with a comic strip in the wrapper. How about a simple game of marbles or an old doll. Don't underestimate these things as far as the makings for excellent childhood photos.
Many adults, even some older children start erasing their early years memories as they grow, this project may help them remember them. You may not be able to get on a bike and have your father push you along, but that doesn't mean you can substitute. Think of the little things that provided the best examples of your growing up years and capture, even if you have to recreate, them in photos.
Did you play with frogs when you were a kid? I did, but there is no way that you are going to find me near a frog today, I must admit that I have a huge phobia towards the little guys. However, by using a family friend and her kids, I can re shoot a similar experience, from afar and with a long lens of course.
Good examples can be obtained without even showing the full subject, or having the subject be recognizable. Often silhouettes will do the trick. Concentrate on the message not the subject. Think of using a monochromatic medium too. Some images made with this format can really be great for representing an idea, setting the mood or "telling" a story. Keep your shots at eye level similar to as you would have seen things at the time and also look for different angles, make the ordinary seem extraordinary when viewed from a different. perspective.
What will your purpose be when undertaking this project? Besides creating a memorable experience for you and the viewer it would not be far fetched to consider turning it into a book deal. Books about memories and childhood are quite popular subjects as they have been for a while.
Some of these images can also be used in the greeting card industry too as well as in the stock agency arena for use in product campaigns.
The first part of the project will probably require for you to sit back and think, it would also be good to put your thoughts and memories into written form, even a note will do. This will be your guide when starting the project.
Go a step further and try to locate old childhood friends and include their children into your work. They will probably be more than glad to offer to help you as now both of you will be fondly reliving the past.
Plan ahead, but don't forget to have fun. Your enthusiasm and energy will more than likely be transmitted to your subjects and should reflect in your images which after all, its the main purpose behind this photographic project.
- How to Photograph Children
How should I photograph my children? This is a question we’re asked a lot at DPS and so I thought I’d put together a few Child Photography tips. I’ve outlined them below in two parts – ‘settings’ and ‘the shoot’. Keep in mind that it reflects how I p