At the end of 2019, as usual, there are a lot of Christmas parties and corporate Christmas Eves. This year I also had the opportunity to photograph the Christmas baking of gingerbread in the language school for children Edukido in Warsaw’s Żoliborz district. Kids could also paint their faces that day and prepare Christmas cards. There was a lot to do!
What is Edukido?
Edukido are educational institutions for children from 3 to 12 years old, which are based on a franchise that is based on creative activities for children based on Lego bricks. Of course, there are also other forms of activities, such as baking gingerbread or making people out of vegetables. One of the coolest activities that I have seen and would be happy to take part in myself are robotics classes using Lego bricks. In this way, even young children can be encouraged to learn the basics of building machines, vehicles and robots using programming. In this way, children can build, for example, their own vehicles, which they can program, or control remotely.
Learning through play
I remember when I was in computer science classes programming in the Logo Komeniusz application (not to be confused with Lego), where we programmed a set of commands for a virtual turtle that drew various patterns and figures. It wasn’t very delightful for us at the time, and no one in my class seemed to have gone in the direction of programming, much less robotics after such classes. What you can do now in Edukido, and at such a young age, makes me jealous of today’s kids’ opportunities.
Fun not only for children
It’s a lot of fun for the kids, but the parents also had the opportunity to help and meet together before Christmas. As usual, it was not easy, because children, because with children it is so that everywhere is full of them and they can not sit on the spot. However, focused on rolling the dough and cutting out patterns, they managed not to capture that day.
How to photograph children?
With children, in principle, you can cooperate the same as with adults, and even better, because they do not embarrass themselves as much in front of the lens as adults. It is important to find a common language with them and to be friends with them. There is no point in telling them to smile, to do something for the camera, but if we do it too often, it will be forced gestures.
During the pictures with the kids, it happens that they come up and talk to me, because they want to show me something. In such situations, I try to find a balance between talking and taking a good photo on the occasion. Hiding behind the camera every time, we will not arouse their sympathy. Of course, there are exceptions, but it is easier to take good photos by entering their world. This can be done actively or reactively.
Photo session of vegetable figures
During the session with vegetable people, which the children prepared from potatoes. I just asked them what kind of character they were, and they would start telling me it was a hedgehog, a vampire, or a bird. To be honest, if I hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have thought of what they meant by doing them. So it’s worth talking.
My technique of photographing children
Another point, when photographing children, is not to do what many adults focus on aiming the camera while standing still. It is worth entering their level, sitting on the floor, and sometimes even lying down.
I think it has some basis in psychology and our instincts. I do not want to compare children to animals, but an example came to my mind, where one of the wild animals, which may seem threatening to us, is easy to scare. It is enough to raise your hands or have something on your head that will make us seem taller and thus scare them away. I don’t know if it was a wolf, a hyena, or a completely different animal, but somehow it stuck in my head. In this way, I apply the principle that when photographing kids, I do not exalt myself. You can take a few pictures from above, or stand at attention in the corner, but for me this is a poor approach.
Baking gingerbread in the style of flat lay
During the most important part of the class, which was supposed to be baking gingerbread, of course I did not strictly follow the rules to be next to the kids all the time. We already got to know each other a little, so I could also take some nice photos from above, showing the scenery of preparing gingerbread in the style of flat lay. Rolled dough and cut patterns look very interesting then.