Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/19

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica Gear & Kids
From: (Ted Grant)
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 16:51:01 +0100

Richard Wasserman wrote:

<<<They have no preconceived ideas about what a photograph should be.  I
get to see all kinds of unusual compositions and points of view I would
never think of.  Sorry this ran on so long, but I think it's important for
us to share our passions with our children.  The sharing creates a very
special bond between parent and child. They need to know some of the
possibilities in life.>>>>>


Right on the mark. My children (4) older now and creators of 10
grandchildren all learned about photography by watching, handling cameras,
buffaloing prints in the darkroom, lugging my gear and finally taking their
own pictures,

Number 2 son is a very talented sports/news photographer with 3 sons, one
of whom is picking-up on his father's and grandfather's like for picture

Number 1 son and daughter (3rd child) both handle cameras very well and
take all their own family pictures. With No.1 using his photo talents in
preparing material for his classes as a teacher and works with the school
camera club.

Meanwhile 3rd child learned photography well enough to keep her busy while
rearing 5 children.  Not sure which came first, the photography or her 5
children. Any how we get great bunches of photos every once in a while.

The 4th child (daughter) has her own sports photo stock agency, "Canadian
Sport Images" that is mainly responsible for the photography of Canada's
National sports teams. Also a pretty good sports shooter herself.

Her main asset is knowing "good, bad and ugly" sports pictures! So that
when a "male photographer" who thinks he's dealing with a "dumb blonde"
starts giving her some cock-a-mamy story about how great his images are
gets his ass shot off when she explains some finer points of sports
photography! :)

I beleive there is a great, in modern day terms, "bonding", (Hell we just
called it doing things to-gether as a family) through photography because
we did  much of it to-gether. And when I went away on assignments there was
always a great family screening upon return (as the kids became older and
wiser in the ways of photography, sometimes I hated it, damn they were
tough critics!") :)

But it was their fresh untainted eyes during these screenings that gave
some very revealing and interesting perspectives of how well I did. Man
you'd be surprised how kids see and react to visual motivation. I think in
some situations they made me a better photographer with their comments.

Pissed me off no end at times, certainly when I knew they were right and
merely pointed-up the fact I'd screwed-up but didn't admit it, but got
caught anyway!:)

Now I have grand children becoming interested as the stories of grandpa
travelling the world taking pictures, seems like a fun thing to do.
Although a couple of the older ones think it's "cool to be paid" to travel!

But like their parent "buffaloing prints" in the darkroom, I've had three
of them in the darkroom doing what their "mother did when she was a liitle
girl like you" during th past few days. Now you want to hear excitment when
the first print comes up.....pure magic doesn't even begin to describe the

Use my Leicas? Well there are two of the boys, one 12 the other 13, who can
swing one up and click almost like a pro even though they started out
learning how without film in the camera. Today? Hell they pop a roll in an
M6 faster than you can spit, makes your head spin! Then shoot "their
things" like ol'e gandpa here! Kinda brings a tear to my eye sometimes. But
damn they're good!

So would I let my children play with my Leica?  You bet, but you have to
bring them along with care and understand and "NO FEAR!" It's very simple
if you show that it can be fun with an understanding that, what they hold
in their hands is a very expensive tool for taking pictures and not a toy!

Even though many of us "older folks" love playin with our toys! :)

Sorry folks a bit long....but when it comes to kids, photography  and Leicas?

Man, I beleive the earlier you can put one in their hands the better they
will learn how to handle them. And if good fortune allows them to be
interested in photography, the better they'll be for using the best glass