Seeing Things: A Kid’s Guide to Looking at Photographs,
by Joel Meyerowitz
This book caught my eye from across the store when I stopped in at Winslow’s Home for a bowl of soup last week. I had to see what was inside. As I walked closer, I read the title and was so curious. How do you talk to children about photography? I often feel my way through art; I know what I like, but I don’t always know why it appeals to me, or what really makes a good photograph. Here is the perfect book to begin some amazing conversations about art, whether it is with your kids, or with yourself.
What you notice will reflect the way the world speaks to you, and only you. You may or may not be able to change the world, but the world can certainly change you. — Joel Meyerowitz
This beautiful book, full of art from famous photographers from the 1930’s up through the 2000’s, is aimed at children aged 9 – 12, but as I read through, I found the book completely relevant to adults as well. Meyerowitz, an award-winning photographer and two-time Guggenheim fellow, points to all the right topics: how timing is everything, to actions and angles, to the “in-between places” and to the power of observation, among many others.
Above: Melanie Einzig, Spring Corner, New York, 2000
Below: Sally Gall, Flying, 2014
I recommend reading only a couple of pages at a time with a child, and really take some time to discuss what you see. Ask the questions: “what do you see here?” “what do you like about this photograph?” “what did you notice first?” “what do you think is about to happen?” “is there anything funny about this photograph to you?”
If you are interested in art and photography and are looking for a good way to introduce it to your children, check out this book. I highly recommend it and am pretty sure it will open up a new world for our family in discussing what we observe and how we feel about art.