Photography is a wonderful way to capture moments and memories that we can cherish for a lifetime. One of the many reasons why I love photography is it enables me to share in these special occasions and preserve them for generations to come. As a dad, photography also provides me with the invaluable opportunity to invest in the lives of my children.
In my last blog post (Leaving a Legacy – Like Parenting, Photography Is an Intentional Journey), I shared how my Pop was intentional about spending time with me and how I am so thankful to have the opportunity to spend quality time with my three children – nature walks with Abby, whale watching adventures with Micah, and stop animation and toy photography with Caleb. Through our first few posts, my wife and I introduced you to our youngest children. Now, I’d like to introduce you to Caleb, our oldest child.
My Trusty Assistant
Caleb is almost thirteen, and teaching him what it means to be a man is becoming increasingly more important. He is an analytical thinker and aspiring roboticist. He also still enjoys spending time with me, something for which I am so grateful. Photography has been a perfect avenue for me to instill in him a sense of stewardship, respect, creativity, responsibility and hard work.
At first, Caleb would join me on outdoor family portrait sessions. He’d help carry the gear, hold my light modifiers, and also pack different toys to bring to help the younger children smile and laugh. When the pandemic started, I focused more on floral and nature photography. We would visit local botanical gardens like Koko Crater Botanical Garden, Wahiawa Botanical Garden, and Waimea Valley. It was great to be outside in the fresh air and explore God’s amazing creation with my son.
When we found unique flowers or trees, Caleb would be my trusty assistant, holding my Nanlite PavoTube II 6C just right. Caleb first started learning how to use the camera on his phone, and then he moved on to my Nikon D750. As he learned more, he started helping me in my studio experimenting with different techniques like focus stacking for close ups and light painting.
Caleb's time in my studio sparked an interest in Lego stop motion animation and toy photography. So, together, we began to explore different tools to help him on this new creative journey – starting with a Udemy course on stop animation called “Brickfilm Academy” and the stop motion studio app. I also taught him how to use Snapseed, and he has enjoyed discovering his own editing style.
Caleb's patience, laser focus and dedication surprises me sometimes. He spends hours setting up intricate scenes, and then takes hundreds of pictures, painstakingly adjusting each shot to achieve the perfect composition for his stop motion videos. He also saves his money to purchase new Lego sets and unique pieces to create his perfect shot. It's exciting to see him take ownership of his craft and develop his own unique style.
Here is a segment from one of Caleb's first videos:
There's still so much to learn about photography and stop motion...but that's what makes the journey fun. We can learn together and grow together for many years to come!
Explore Your Creativity
Floral and nature photography aren't Caleb's passion, and that's ok. I take photos of the sunset and the ocean, and Caleb stages his stop motion and toy photography scenes. While we focus on different aspects of photography, we are still together and being creative. I cherish these times with my son and look forward to our new adventures together.
Caleb's Photo My Photo
Especially with the increasingly fast pace of life today, I encourage you to take some time to explore nature, bring along a friend or loved one, and discover what sparks creativity in your lives.
Some of Caleb's Photos He Wanted to Share: