Wednesday, November 20, 2013

School project


A couple of years ago I had what I thought was this great idea for a photo project. I think it was when my son, Henry, was starting first grade. I thought it would be so cool if I could take a picture of him every day before he went to school. Just one picture. I envisioned this school year-long project where I could see how he grew and changed during the course of the year. And, years later, of course, it would be funny to look back and laugh at the way clothing styles and hair styles had changed over time. I asked him what he thought of the idea. He just said, "No way, dad."

I didn't force the issue. I figured I took enough pictures of him anyway. And, generally, he's a good subject, so I figured I shouldn't push my luck.

I mentioned this to him shortly before the start of the most recent school year. He seemed a little surprised that he'd said no as a first grader. He even seemed...interested. So we talked about how this might work. I said I'd set up a camera with a timer on a tripod with a light and a backdrop. Every day right before we leave for school he'd run downstairs and take a picture of himself. The bonus for me is that as a fourth grader, he could handle all of this himself once I get it set up. I also promised him a dollar a day if he'd play along.

After the first day or two, I quit going with him. He already knew how to turn the equipment on and off, so what was I needed for anyway. About a week after the start of school I downloaded the first set of photos. The project had already changed from a mere record of what the grade-schooler looked like and what he wore and how tall he was into something much more interesting. Here are the first six days of the school year...








I was hesitant to mention this project to anyone at first. I didn't know if Henry would get sick of it after a week and call it quits. We're about three months in, and he's still going strong, so I thought it was time to start sharing some of the early photos.

I'm still trying to decide what to do with all the pictures. I'm open to any suggestions anyone might have...



1 comment:

Michael Andrade said...

These are great. One thought is to have a show-- during the summer, maybe? Where you can blow some of them up, or just do a progression along the walls... Do you have space available? Tom Wickersham and I used to do shows where we'd turn a residential home into a gallery space for a weekend show. That might be fun. But if you could shop the project a bit for a space, it might be worth the time. If Henry's game for it, that is...