Almost every photographer has created some sort of personal project in their time. In fact, many photographers’ work is comprised entirely of personal projects. Rarely though do I see projects that are truly personal. I mean that in the sense of their projects having a real emotional connection to the photographer that easily shows through in their images. Small Steps Are Giant Leaps, a father/son project started by photographer Aaron Sheldon and his son Harrison, is one of those projects.
The project began over a year ago with a trip to the doctor’s office. When Harrison was scared to sit on the exam table, the two brainstormed about who would be brave enough to sit on the exam table and they landed on astronauts. From that moment, something clicked with Sheldon and the project was born. After hunting down a helmet and suit, Sheldon began to take photos of Harrison in the outfit almost everywhere they went. In fact, the pair has traveled quite a bit for the project with trips to places like Washington D.C. and Cape Canaveral. Through those trips, they’ve been able to incorporate real world science and learning opportunities into their work. There has certainly been an evolution from the original project that started as a way for Harrison to feel more comfortable in the world to where it is now, with the two sharing their journey and promoting science and learning with their project.
That brings us around to their current Kickstarter project. Sheldon has gone to crowdfunding to help spread awareness of the project and use that to encourage better S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education for kids. There are several cool backer rewards, ranging from a patch with the project logo, to t-shirts and signed prints. Sheldon hopes to host pop-up galleries around the US to get the project in front of as many people as possible, and they need as much help from the community as they can get. They also have a book of the first year of the project, available here.
This project saw some major press throughout 2016 as the body of work expanded and all sorts of folks became fond of what the duo were creating together and from humble beginnings at a doctor’s office and Sheldon helping his son to find the courage to make it through his appointment to becoming a vast project covering locations around the United States and many uplifting themes, Small Steps Are Giant Leaps has evolved into a project that many of us can take cues from. I highly recommend you check out their Kickstarter and take a look through their project and goals for the future.