You know when you were a kid and you saw something…something that took hold of your imagination? Your thoughts. Your ideas. Your mind wandered. You had questions. More questions. You asked, “Why?” to everyone about everything. Kids can see wonder every place they look.
I see the same when I look through my camera lens. The world? It’s interesting. Full of patterns. Brilliant color so striking it makes you smile. Fascinating. Looking through a lens makes me slow down. Appreciate the details. See what’s right there in front of me and zoom in to one small detail. That detail that makes me think about light, shadows, how it relates to it’s surroundings. For that moment, it’s just me and that detail. Connected.
I’m left wondering. At what point did my wonder in school dissipate? When did my focus on questions become far more about knowing answers? Creativity played second to ‘filling in blanks.’ I wanted points, credits, grades over ideas and thoughts.
I may have lost some of that wonder I had as a kid. But, that’s why I love photography.
When I pick up my camera, I’m reminded every time. The world? It’s fascinating. Really, really fascinating. The kind of fascinating that lights a fire in your mind. Schools can either embrace that concept, or continue on the same path. A path of training to do things. Squishing wonder and asking kids to fill in bubbles. That path? It leaves little time for noticing the fascinating things. The wonder. The parts where you connect with your world.
It’s not about the camera, it’s about seeing. We need to give kids the time to see. To learn. To connect. It’s time to free them to fill their imaginations with wonder. Because a mind filled with fascination is far more about learning than a bubble filled with No. 2 pencil.