Our trip to London was one of our travel highlights. It was a last-minute trip that we miraculously managed to pull off despite the boys having expired passports that needed renewal! I fell in love with the city and I know my kids loved it too, they talk about it a lot.
Often times that is exactly how I can determine how much my kids loved a trip, or an experience we have together; with how the conversations veer one way or another toward a specific moment or meal or activity. But because they are older I thought it would be a good idea to give them a camera (one of my older ones) so that they could walk around and capture what they felt was the most impressive for them, or what they wanted to remember the most.
Our 11-year-old really took to photography. Our 12-year-old preferred taking photos with his phone. At first, my youngest would follow me around and almost shadow me as I walked to take a shot, or hung back a bit longer to get a perfect moment. I talked to him about F-stops and aperture and we would exchange lens so he could see how each one worked differently to provide a different view or feel of an image. Over time however, he would look for his own shots, captures that were significant to him and which caught his attention.
The photographer at work.
It was only recently that I got a chance to look at his photos from that trip and I have to say I am in awe. I know, I know…I’m his mom, but it’s not just that maternal pride. These photos allowed me to see London as he saw it and it made me teary because it again reinforces so many of the reasons why we do what we do.
Travel is a huge part of our family’s culture. It is a way to show our kids the world, to move their hearts and open their minds. I want them to connect to places, not just pass through them. I want them to travel with responsibility and respect for every person and place. In a time when travel imagery in travel media is represented as an unrealistic, unattainable illusion, I want to teach my kids that it isn’t about the “likes” (they are not on social media), or the bragging, or the airline miles, or the number of countries they have traveled to (which is a lot more than I had traveled to at their age).
It is so much deeper and meaningful and important and special than that. Seeing his photos, I realized that he gets it and I am so moved by that reality.
The following photos were by my 11-year-old son, on a hand-me-down Canon Rebel I gave him. He had no direction from anyone and they are truly his independent view of London. If ever there was a way to show how beautiful the world is through a child’s eyes, this is it. All photos have been shared with the photographer’s permission.
Liberty Shopping Center
Street art in Shoreditch neighborhood of London and other street views
The Making of Harry Potter at Warner Bros. Studio just outside of London
Photographer’s father and older brother.
Butter beer ice cream.
A candid shot of the photographer’s mother in the crowd.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” — Henry Miller
All photos are property of the publisher and may not be used without consent.