There is an old saying; "Smile and the whole World will smile back". Today we experienced this fully; today's story is about bonding.
Bonding with nature, bonding with family, with community members. About being there, observing and participating.
We have been inspired by a really amazing National Geographic assignment (click here if you want to read about it).
I think every parent with children interested in photography should do this. In fact, I think every parent should do it anyway. Forget about skills or art knowledge, do it for yourself. This type of exercise is meant to get people together and to actively pursue involvement in the community where you live. You would be amazed of the stories you get. It is true that a camera usually "freezes" your subjects initially, but the presence of a child opens up some really wonderful avenues.
It is also an activity that will benefit your relationship with your children in many, many ways. You get to explore the world through their eyes, you get to bond, to share a special moment.
My 2yo is a very active little boy, with great imagination and a very good language control. He is able to tell you at any time what goes on in his mind. Even before this assignment we had "shooting dates" as he loves taking pictures and he loves trekking in the grasslands. We are fortunate to live in a little paradise corner; our backyard backs onto a nature reserve. It feels nice to have all this land to explore yet we are still close to all city amenities. For us as a family, our most important priority is finding the right balance between our "technological life" (we see all the modern gadgets as wonderful tools for learning) and our outdoors time, when we learn all we can through direct experience about the place where we live.
We are usually documenting kangaroos and snails( his latest favourites) but this assignment called for engagement within our community. We would have liked to be able to take some photos of some rangers, but we were never so lucky to bump into them. When we do, we would have lots of questions about the ecosystem, about the endemic species or about kangaroos behaviour.
Even so, today it must have been Master 2's lucky day as we came across one of the Rangers' Contactor, who was changing the fence all around the reserve. Imagine a little boy's eyes lighting up when he can take advantage of all his passions in one hit: photography, grasslands, power tools, super cars, trucks and men at work.
Nick proved to be a lovely gentleman, with a lot of patience and he let us tag along for a bit, while he was doing his job. He was gracious and courteous; he also explained a few things to Master 2. For instance, the old logs are not removed from the nature reserve; they are placed in a few points where they will serve as natural habitat for some species.
I have to say it, Master 2 has done a better job than me. Here is his photo reportage:
And lastly, here is my series: