I have been watching a trend in photography in recent years of photographers purposely dressing and posing children as if they are adults. It’s not a trend I am a fan of because I feel like our society is rushing children out of their childhood.
Dressing children in stylish clothes, posing them in a field and telling them to give their best model face or runway walk does not appeal to me and neither do the resulting photos. It’s not, of course, the stylish clothes that bother me. Stylish clothes are always wonderful. It’s the idea of coaching a child to look older than they are.
I also don’t support making high school senior girls look like women on a street corner of a major city in their senior photos, but that’s another post for another time.
I enjoy showcasing childhood as it is.
When I photograph children I want them to look like children.
Children have plenty of time to look fierce. For now they should be able to simply embrace the joy of childhood.
Children do not always have a smile on their face so I’m not saying photos of childhood should only feature smiling children. There is a place for “fierce” looking images, but I’m not a fan of coaching a child to look this way.
I find myself drawn to the beauty of childhood in all it’s forms: the smiling and the crying moments. My goal is to capture the now of a childhood not the rush of childhood into adulthood.
I know I run the risk of sounding like an old fart here, but to me we push our children to grow up too fast.
Let them be little.
Let them be children.
Let them revel in the innocence that is so short lived.
I love photographing children as they are and who they are without asking them to dress a certain way or pose a certain way or be someone they are not.
Childhood is such a blink of the eye in his journey we call life.
I want them to savor it, not rush it.
Much like we adults need to savor life more instead of rush it.