Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Photographing Children

When I began taking pictures, children were definitely not considered a great art subject by galleries and museums. There had been photographs of children that were considered great art, such as Gene Smith’s photograph of his children

Henri Cartier Bresson’s

and Helen Levitt’s

These were the exceptions. For the most part this was considered too sentimental a subject to approach as academic art.

And then came Gene Meatyard

Emmet Gowin

and Sally Mann

in rapid succession creating a visual foundation for photographing children as a subject worthy of museum exhibitions.

Today there are many photographers who consider themselves serious artists whose main subject is children. One of the most interesting of these photographers is Julie Blackmon. Her subjects are her extended family, carefully posed and edited by compositing in Photoshop

Posing and choice of background continue to be central issues in creating portraits that function as art rather than a sentimental record. This is a great time to photograph children as subjects for art.

© 2010 Paul Light all rights reserved