Evelyn Hannon: Aging Disgracefully


Give A 13-Year-Old Boy A Camera And This Is What You Get

Their photos say a lot about what kind of adults they will be

josh photography

Since my grandson Josh was very young, we've gone on photo walks together. I'd see something I like, take the photo, and then I'd explain to him why I liked it and why it caught my eye. Perhaps it was a reflection in a puddle or a close-up of an object on the street, or the particular way the sun was hitting a building. Then I'd ask him what he saw in the scene, hand him the camera, and get him to "capture his own version." It was our time together. We loved it and we never tired of it.

That's why on Josh's 13th birthday, I splurged and bought my young grandson his own wonderful Nikon. In fact, we shopped together asking questions of salespeople, making comparisons between different models, and he finally chose the camera that he was most comfortable with. Then I set my young photographer free. That was six months ago, and this week he showed me some of his favourite shots and agreed to an interview for this blog.

What I loved about looking at these photos was confirming that 13-year-old boys are not just about wrestling with their friends, jumping off anything that's high, or watching the most gory films they can find. Teenage boys don't talk a lot about who they are, yet put a camera in their hands and their inner world will begin to shine through. Looking at their photos, what you begin to see are glimmers of the boys they are now and the men they will become—the realms they enjoy, their sensibilities, and their points of view. As a grandmother, I find that so very exciting!

Me: Josh, why do you like photography?

Josh: So many people don't appreciate the art in photography until they see what some photographers can capture with their cameras. Looking at images can change my mood. Sometimes I like to capture new angles of familiar things to make the people looking at them think that it's a new object.

Here are some of my favourite photos:

This is also my mom's favourite photo. I took it with my iPhone early in the morning on my bus ride to school. I rubbed some moisture off the window and caught this image as the bus was moving.

I call this photo "Recreating an Old Fashioned Country Scene," and it's one of my favourites.

Night Time in the Park. Taken 9 o'clock in the evening, as I was experimenting with my flash.

First snowfall. 6:00 AM. I saw this through my window and went out in my pajamas to get this close-up of how the snow collected in the ridges of the bark on the tree.

And this is how the colours of the leaves looked against that snow.

6:00 AM. Eating breakfast all alone. I used my cereal bowl as a tripod to take this shot.

Looking out our frozen car window, I got this image I call "Iceland."

The country fences I found when I was snowboarding.

Exploring after a snowfall. My friend's winter boot in the snow.

Waiting for the bus I "shot" my feet after Spirit Day at school. Can you tell I was on the Red Team?

This last image is my Grandmother's favourite shot. I took it exploring after a rainstorm in Florida.

P.S. I know that everybody loves feedback about their art. If you have any comments for Josh about his photography, please leave them here and I will share them with him.

Thank you, everybody!

From Josh's Grandma who is Aging Disgracefully.

Want to improve your photography skills? Check out Learning To Be A Better Photographer, Six Tips For Better Family Photos, and How To Make Custom Bokeh Shapes