Wisdom//

Introducing The 4 Year Old Photographer

How My Toddler Became A Young Ansel Adams In Training.

All Photos in this article were taken by my 4 year old, Grayson Line without my knowledge.

Recently I was fortunate enough to have a Nikon D5500 Digital Camera come into my life. The minute I took my first photo, I realized that photography was something I should have picked up YEARS ago. 4 years ago to be exact…when my son, Grayson was born. Don’t get me wrong, I have PLENTY of memories over the past 4 years from tens of thousands (that number is correct) of iPhone photos.


With all of the new smartphone technology over the years, increased megapixel options, filters apps, etc. one would think that’s all you need to document life. I definitely was one of those people and it did get the job done. It just didn’t give me the joy that this camera brings me. I find myself shooting EVERYTHING to the point that it’s gets annoying to friends and family…and yes, sometimes Grayson.


I’m one of those guys that never want’s to miss a beat so I try to capture it via photo or video. Sometimes I feel too invasive especially when Grayson tells me to stop but days, weeks, or years later when I look back on what I have captured, I could not be more thankful that I documented what I did.


Well move over DAD…there’s a new Sheriff in town! As I said, I was lucky enough to pick up a new Nikon Camera a few weeks ago. One day, when I was taking photos of Grayson with our new camera and he asked me if he could “take some pictures.” Initially I thought “no way” but of course, his little heart melted me and I decided to hesitantly turn the camera around, explain to him how to look through the viewfinder, point and click after he ‘hears the beep’, and then look at the LCD screen and view what he just photographed with his little almost 4 year old hands.


COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY is an understatement as to how I felt after seeing what was coming through the LCD back at me. Grayson shot virtually perfect photographs of his me! Over the next week or so, he would ask me from time to time to shoot while I was busy documenting our life together and I quickly obliged. I’d slap the strap around his neck and let him point and shoot things with me only a foot or two away from me just in case he dropped the semi-heavy (for a 4 year old) camera.


Fast-forward to this past weekend to when my Godmother / Aunt Nancy came to visit me. I had my camera out and about capturing some wonderful moments of the two of them throughout the weekend in between doing some household projects while they played. One of these projects was a game changer in the Gray-Casso’s world of photography. I spent about an hour cleaning the laundry room area of our basement as my Aunt Nancy and Grayson played in the next room no more than 10 feet away. I had NO idea I left my camera in the room with them as I was cleaning up…this is where it gets interesting.


Hours later we had company. An impromptu dinner / birthday party took place in our dining room for our good friend and neighbor, Deb and of COURSE I had my new camera out. About an hour after dinner, I decided to go through all the funny photos from dinner that I took of everyone. My jaw hit the floor when I discovered what was on the camera.


There were about a dozen photos of our family room downstairs that seemed to have been taken while I was cleaning the laundry room. Amazing photos of Grayson’s Thomas The Train Rollercoaster, his musical instruments, monster trucks, the island of Sodor that he had just built, other larger steam trains, etc. I immediately thought, “How did my Aunt learn to use my camera and how did she learn to shoot this good?” I then saw about 5 or 6 photos of my Aunt Nancy that I did not take and they were taken from a few feet away. Her posing, laughing, and even one of her paying NO attention to the little man behind the lens — Gray-Casso!


My little Ansel Adams prodigy, who is not even four yet until January 25th, just took about 15 amazing photographs with my digital camera as I worked unaware in the other room behind a closed door. The colors, the angles, the thought that he put into each shot…it seems CRAZY that a 4 year old could have shot these but I assure you he did. He captured everything that is important to him at the moment. Family, trains, and his little dog, Reno!

Thank you Grayson for even more memories that I simply could not have captured myself and thank you Nikon for creating such an amazing camera that not only a 4 year old at heart could use, but that literally a 4 year old could use, LOL! (All Photos in this post are courtesy of Grayson Line, 2017.)

About the author:

Christopher Line is a 38 year old single father of an amazing 4 year old by the name Grayson. He currently works and resides in the beautiful town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He began writing his blog, “Dadastrophic: “Tales of a Hot Mess Dad” several months before Grayson was born. Chris spent many years as a radio DJ for 95.1 WZZO, 104.1 B104, Cat Country 96, and 100.7 WLEV.

He began acting at the age of 16 and was managed by famed talent manager, Lois Miller, who was responsible for launching the careers of Christine Taylor (Brady Bunch, Hey Dude, Dodgeball), and Jamie Lynn Sigler (Meadow Soprano in Sopranos on HBO). In 2001, he was a Vee Jay for MTV2 and in 2003 hosted an MTV gameshow, “Into The Cube”. Also in 2003, he got his big break and was cast in famed director Richard Linklater’sThe School of Rock“, a Paramount Picture. Yes, that’s him who announces that “NO VACANCY” wins the battle of the bands as Jack Black and the kids hate his guts…you’re welcome!

Originally published at medium.com

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