I've written before about my daughter's art talents and Zazzle gallery (here). She may not be the next Monet or O'Keefe (then again, she might be...), but she definitely has some natural ability that I lack.
My daughter has a pretty good natural ability for photography, too. She hasn't developed her portraiture talents quite as much as Kim Ayers[fn1], my blogger buddy who also writes "Ramblings of the Bearded One," a blog I've read for years. But she takes a nice photo.
When she was two, nearly three, I took her to my cousin's wedding. She wanted to take pictures with my new camera. Since it was simple enough (point and shoot), I let her take a few photos of me in the hotel room. She told me where to stand and when to smile.
I figured I'd end up with typical kid photos of my torso & chin, or half of me at the edge of the frame with a bunch of crud that should have been background showing as the main focal point, or, at best, a blurry shot of me not smiling.
Instead, I ended up with several well-centered photos of me, actually smiling (she got the timing right), with minimal annoying background crud. The perspective was a little off -- she was not-quite-three, and very tiny, and she didn't think to climb up on a chair to photograph me straight-on instead of from her looking-up perspective. Then again, that was her usual perspective on the world, so it probably didn't occur to her that it wasn't "normal," and I didn't think to suggest that she stand or sit up higher for the photo shoot, so whose fault is that, really?
Overall, I was impressed. I let her take more photos with my camera any time she wanted to after that, and I am disappointed far less frequently with her photos than I am with my own.
So when we went to the Desert Botanical Garden to see the butterfly pavilion, I let her take lots of photos of the butterflies and flowers. She did a nice job.
I made a calendar out of her photos and posted it in her Zazzle store. Check it out:
I also designed some magnets and mouse pads and mugs and other items, just for fun, from some of the photos. And there are items made from some of her drawings, too. You may have noticed the "Zazzle" display bar in the margin - it shows some of the things posted for sale on the site.
But here's the cool part: People have actually bought things! And not just me or my relatives. We have sold actual calendars and magnets and cards to people completely unrelated to us! Not many, mind you. No one is getting rich from this particular endeavor. But it is fun, and a good confidence-booster for her, to know that other people like her art and photos as much as I do.
So, if you have time, check out her Zazzle store. You don't have to buy anything (it can be expensive, although they do have frequent sales and discounts and free shipping offers), just look around and let me know what you think.
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Footnotes (because lawyers love them):
Fn1: Kim Ayres' portrait photographs are unique. Instead of the typical photo of everyone with smiles plastered on their faces, dressed in goofy outfits, sitting and/or standing next to each other in front of some idealized background (or, worse, stacked on top of each other in some ridiculous pose meant to suggest "family love and harmony reigns supreme here"), he captures real faces with real expressions, in real places (or with black backgrounds, for maximum focus on the actual person). I love them. You should definitely check out his photography web site - and his blog, too, if you have time.
If I am ever in Scotland again, I am going to have him photograph me and whoever is with me (husband, kids, friends, whoever). It would be a hoot to meet him, and I'd end up with some way cool photos, to boot.