from my 7 year old’s camera

My oldest son has no interest in photography…taking pictures or really looking at them. Just isn’t his thing.

My 7 year old – totally opposite. We bought a point-n-shoot that is waterproof to take to China with us last year, for the boys to use. My 7 year old has declared it his camera ever since. As long as the battery is charged, he usually has it nearby. I’m pretty sure he gets it out at least once a day. When we leave the house, he’ll often grab it.

I don’t download his pictures all the time, but when I do it is such a fun peek into his little head. Most of his photos include animals, plants, birds and every now and then a sibling. Here are a few of my recent favorites that he took with his camera (he had his brother take the ones with him in it).

A handful of his pictures – an accurate description of my son. They say you can look at someone’s bank account and tell what is important to them. I think that is true of photography too. You can take a look at someones camera roll and usually get a good idea of the things that are important to that person. However, I am only in a couple of my son’s pictures, so I might need to rethink that analogy!

One of the ways I try to encourage his love for photography (and his willingness to let me photograph him) is by printing his pictures. On a regular basis he is asking for prints of things he photographed. I’m not in the habit of ordering a lot of prints of my pictures because I make photo books each year. However, ordering prints for him is a priority. At least I try to make it one. He pins his pictures on the wall, gives them to friends, draws them, and flips through them. I’d probably forget to order his prints, but he never does. He reminds me often, which really just reminds me how important it is to him. He read in a book that an essential tool for any naturalist is a camera. He has taken that to heart. He celebrates the natural world and it is pretty fun to watch those interests bloom in him, even if it means printing 15 different shots of chickens!

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  • Joan - Hi Ashley,
    Great post and so sweet to see the different personalities your kids have. I know you’re a busy mama but if you have time, I’d love to see some info about your coop and your chickens. You mentioned it a few weeks ago that you would share some of that info and I’ve been anxiously waiting. Thanks!

  • angie - Seems he has your eye for photography! They’re great!

  • dee - For Christmas you should make him a photo book like you do for your photos.imagine his face seeing his photos in a book.something for him to take into adulthood-love dee x

  • Cerise - He’s quite the little photographer! I got a fantastic little camera a few years ago and my four year old has almost completely hijacked it. I really need to start printing some of his pictures for him. I put my favorites in our album, but I know he would like copies just for him too.

  • Jen - I know you’ve mentioned this on here before, but what is the brand/model of this camera again? I am tired of lugging my DSLR around and I’m one of the last people on earth without a smart phone–so I want something small that takes good pics that I can throw in my purse for my kids and I to use when out and about. Thanks so much!

  • Amy - How sweet! He really is a good little photographer. 🙂

  • Os Tartarouchos - We have recently gone in a (little)travel on holidays and carried a point and shoot with us too for entertaining the girls. The oldest only took it a pair of times, but the four year old made her own report of the travel and I’m in LOVE with her vision.

    Love your son’s photos, and the idea of printing them… i neither do mines in paper, have to solve this.

    Greetings from Galicia, Spain!

  • the whyte house - so cute!! my husband brought back a point and shoot from dubai and the kids have claimed it as their own. my daughter loves to video herself on it and takes it with her to sleepovers at grandparents homes. her photos and videos always crack me up. she’s more into flowers and selfies, but i’m pretty sure if she was around animals, they’d be on there, too. lol.

  • Brandi - So, so great! I think it’s so important to show our children that what is special to them is also special to us. Even if we don’t “get it”. Thank you for sharing this, it really is important.

  • Haley - I’m usually not a crier, but something about this post is so beautiful I teared up. I love how interested he is in nature and photos. You do such a great job nurturing your children’s passions.

  • Nancy - His photos are awesome. He is quite the little photog. Kudos to you for encouraging him in his interests and talents!! I bet he would like a portable printer. I bought one to take to Africa a few years ago and love it. You just put your card in and choose which photos to print. 4×6. Mine is a Canon Selphy. I buy the packs of 50 ink/paper combos from Amazon. They come in either black and white or color.

  • Somer - You’re a good Mom. That is it.

  • Vickie - He is an awesome little photographer! I love his different perspectives on everyday things (like his little sister’s feet under water! Priceless!)
    What kind of camera does he use? I love the underwater shots and would love to get a small camera to keep in my purse 🙂 Thanks!

  • Susan - Wow, he’s got the eye, for sure. Love the shot of Firecracker jumping!

  • Kiki - Wow, he’s got your eye for photography! That is so cool that he has a passion for photography and for capturing life on film. I’m definitely going to have to put camera on my future child’s (future) birthday gift list! 🙂

  • alison - What an incredible little boy you have there.
    I am impressed by his pictures! He’s got his mamma’s eye

  • Ashley - That is so sweet that he is so into photography and his camera! I also agree – take a look at anyone’s instagram and you will know right away what’s important to them!

  • Danielle - My 6yr old loves to take pictures also! I had not thought about printing them! What a great idea! Thanks!

  • Ashley - Such great shots, too. Most of my kids pics are very blurry with fingers in the way. He has a gift like his mama.

  • Julie - Awesome pictures! He does have a great eye, just like you. What kind of camera is he using? I would love to have a camera that I am comfortable using in and around water.

  • Jessica - Wow! He has a great eye and his composition is amazing!! A natural!

  • Avenlea - He has a gift, just like his mom!!!

  • rachel - I never print pictures either but I have an app called Postalpix on my iphone that I love! I can send my iphone pixs straight to the app and they mail them to my home. In my opinion its the best way to get quick prints and its cheap too! Might be an option for him also, if you want cheap and quick prints 🙂

  • Julien - This might sounds random, but will you show another picture of your cat? I kinda miss it. : )

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators - How wonderful for you to share a love of photography with your son! I’ve never really let me my daughter loose with a camera – but you’ve inspired me to now (if only to get a glimpse into her world).

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh my goodness. What a precious young man! I love it.

  • AshleyAnn - Julien – your request made me laugh. Poppy is still very well loved and one very spoiled cat. I will try to remember and post a picture soon just for you!

  • AshleyAnn - Julie – it is a Fuji FinePix XP

  • AshleyAnn - Vickie – it is a Fuji FinePix XP

  • The Domestic Fringe - I love his pictures! He’s very talented.

  • AshleyAnn - Jen – it is a Fuji FinePix XP

  • AshleyAnn - Joan – I’m still finishing things on it. It takes me a while to finish big projects these days. We did buy Heather Bullard’s coop plans. We doubled the size and customized the plans to fit our needs. The overall coop design is Heather’s. You can find more info on her design on her website:

  • mel - random question. what program do you use to make photobooks each year or do you make your own?? you’ve probably written about that somewhere.
    thanks 🙂


  • Jenny B. - This is so great! He takes some nice shots! My 8-year-old son is interested in photography too. We have a point-and-shoot I let him use, but the quality is pretty awful. I let him use my iPhone (which takes better pictures than the p&s) and my big camera sometimes. Anyway, I’m thinking about getting him one of the Project Life mini albums so he can make his own photo album/scrapbook. Of course, he wants to make a photobook like I do. So, I’m also thinking about teaching him how to build a photobook online, maybe at Blurb. 🙂

  • Kris Reynolds - I love the idea of handing the camera to the younger kids. When my mom and step-dad got married (eons ago) they gave a camera to my then-5 year old brother. He took some of the greatest pictures, at his eye level, of the festivities. Most of them included people’s backsides, but they were great none the less.

    I have also done that with my kids from time to time and they are so proud of what they did, and, like you said, it is such a fun look in to what they are thinking. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • jules - Loved seeing through your son’s eye – and the one he captured of Firecracker over the wall is amazing! How special that you encourage his love of nature and photography, all in the same breath!

  • Jana - Your son has an awesome eye! I used to be a high school journalism teacher, and your son takes better pictures than some of them did in high school. Now I teach primarily English. I know you home school, which gives you so much freedom in lesson design. Have you considered having him create his own newspaper or magazine?

  • Tina - Ah, so great to see little ones developing these interests so early! And he has a talent for making pictures (yes, ‘making’ not taking because the result is his creative thinking) of his world! Beautiful!

  • Rosalind - Ahh, love it, that is a truly gorgeous thing! Might be time for Mama to photobomb some pics 🙂

  • jerusalem - i love this. and i love that you print them. so great.

  • Cherron - He is so, so adorable!!

  • Krystal Cunningham - This is exactly how my love of photography started. I can only imagine the amount of money my mother spent developing disposable cameras. Funny thing is, the things I like to photograph haven’t changed much 🙂

    It’s so nice to hear you encouraging it too!

  • Nanette - Wow! AWESOME pictures! Love the underwater legs!

  • Janel - this is fabulous. I love seeing the world from his perspective and he does seem to have a fantastic eye for composition and content. Do the pictures actually only come out square or was that customized to show them off. How wonderful that he delights so much in this art.

  • amy - What camera does he have?