While visiting friends a couple years ago, Rue picked up my former preschool student’s SLR camera (my former student was 19 by then and Rue was 10). After a few pointers, Rue began to move around the group taking photos.
When we looked at them later we all were taken by the quality of the photos, the composition, the angle, and the way she captured interesting moments. You could immediately see that she had that “eye” for photography.
That Christmas we gave her what we thought was a high-end camera for a 10 year old, a Nikon point and shoot.
The thrill of having her own really nice camera lasted about 6 months and then she began to pine for a camera with more options and a greater lens range. I could have easily gone to, “ungrateful child!”, and maybe I did just a little, and yet she made a good case that she had a vision she wasn’t able to fulfill with a point and click.
Christmas came around again, and though we couldn’t believe we were doing it, we did what felt right. We gave her the camera she was dreaming about, a Canon T3i. It’s a serious camera for a child. Yet what she can do with it amazes me daily. I know I’ll never regret this investment.
And now photography has morphed from an interest into a real passion for her. She loves the process, she spends enormous amounts of time creating the perfect shot, and it’s a great outlet for her creative expression. And that, to me, is the real gift.