National Geographic Photographer on Learning How to See Through Someone Else's Eyes

Seeing the world through someone else's eyes is an invaluable tool for any photographers to have. How you learn this skill could be much closer to home than you think.

The team over at B&H always invites interesting people to give talks about their creative practice and this week's guest is no exception to the rule. Photographer Aaron Huey who shoots for National Geographic tells the story of how giving his four-year-old son a camera lead to a rewarding experience for both father and son. The video details the many adventures they took together and the pictures both of them made. The camera of choice for the young Hawkeye Huey was a Fuji Instax which for someone so small looks like a handful to use but is actually a great choice for a child to get into photography. I know if I was his age, and was handed a magical black box which printed out pictures on demand I too would have been thrilled to use it.

The resulting images that are produced by the young novice have a wonderful quality to them. Some are blurred, while others are crooked, but none of that matters. They are intimate, packed full of narrative, and shot from a very different perspective than most adult photographers ever shoot from. Huey senior talks about how a child at such a young age takes pictures with few of the rules or baggage that us much older photographers carry. Shortly after starting this art project an Instagram account was started for Huey junior where the account gained tens of thousands of followers overnight. Next followed assignments from the likes of Vogue where he captured Halloween from the angle of a 5-year-old.

This video lecture is a long one at just under 40 minutes but it's well worth the investment in your time. The pictures and the message behind the project are both heartwarming and inspiring. Even if you don't have kids, there are lots of gems to get from watching this talk. The idea of seeing the world through someone else's eyes or using a camera with major limitations is a great exercise for all us photographers to practice from time-to-time. It might just be what you need to give your photography a much-needed jump start.

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3 Comments

Oh yeah, I tried this with my son and was amazed by the results. He loved shooting with Instax and I actually got many keepers. Some of them were revelations to me (our brains are already wired to think certain way, but his is fresh and so he constantly breaks the rules and sometimes comes up with amazing results).

I upgraded his to fuji finepix xp140.

I'm sure he had good intentions but without curating and with comments like "I've never seen anyone take this picture" or "The way he takes photos is magic", this is just plain parental bragging.

Martin Van Londen's picture

My daughter got the opportunity to shoot b&w film for the first time this summer at a camp. It shocked me how creative she got with it. But really I was just happy that she enjoyed it.