Elements of Nature in children’s portraits
One of my friends, who knows how passionate I am about getting our children outside and connecting them with Nature, suggested I read the book “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv. Wow! I cannot tell you how deeply it touched me! It aligned really well with my core beliefs about children photography!
When I meet with my clients, I always talk to them how important it is to have an element of nature in their children’s portraits. All these electronic games and devices will be replaced with new ones… But you can never replace a lost moment of childhood!
This book talks a lot about how children became so plugged in and out of touch with the natural world. The author directly links the lack of nature in the lives of our children to some of the most disturbing trends that we see – rise in children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and Depression.
The author sites some very sad facts:
- By the 1990s the radius around the home where children were allowed to play shrunk to 1/9 of what it had been in 1970
- Today, average 8 year olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than native species, such as beetles and oak trees
- The rate at which doctors prescribe antidepressants to children has doubled in the last 5 years
And these statistics go on and on… Incredibly disturbing! Children are developing, what he calls it, a Nature Deficit Disorder. And not the ADD but the NDD is the reason for all the above!
That is the reason why I am and will continue to be an advocate for on locations, outside photo sessions for children. If I can help our children see the beauty of Nature, even for just a short period of time, and remember it for the rest of their lives – I have accomplished my mission as a photographer!
Note: Image of Amelia at the Apples Orchid in Hollis, at our beautiful local farm.
I think she will remember that moment!