Creativity Exercise: The Kids Were Here

Inspired by the original Kids Were Here project, this week we’re going to give our families a break from being our subjects. Instead we are going to focus on and document the little treasures that our children leave behind. Without any humans in the frame, these images will show the evidence that kids were once there.

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It is easy to find evidence that kids were here throughout your home on any given day. Whether you have babies, toddlers, tweens, teens, or adult children, when you pause and look for it, you’ll see their evidence everywhere! Look for their toys, books, clothes, drawings, schoolwork and messes. To help you grow and push you creatively, look for and try to include beautiful lighting and interesting compositions and settings where possible.

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You could easily just walk around and capture your kid’s things and the end result will be a bunch of images of your kid’s things. But if you want the images to be special to you and to have memories attached to them, think about the story behind your kid’s things before you press the shutter.

Why is it important to you? What does this thing you are about to capture mean? Perhaps it’s a favourite toy your child carries everywhere, the inside out dirty clothes they always leave behind on their bedroom floor, the half eaten apple you see on a daily basis, the text books open on the table from when you child was studying for their exams, or the new driver’s license from the day they passed their test.

Remember it’s not about the things at all, but rather about the stories they tell!

I made this image 5 years ago. At the time I thought it was a funny    kids were here    image and one of the many random places we found cars around the house. Looking back at it now, it means SO much more to me than just a funny image. One image of a detail fills me with memories I never want to forget. ⁣ My eldest was OBSESSED with cars from a very young age. Car was his first real word, we watched Cars on repeat (he could recite the entire movie!), we had two cars birthday parties, he knew all the makes and models of cars when he was two and liked to point them out to us everywhere we went, we read car books, we went to car shows, we had car bedding and we bought more toy cars than I could ever count!⁣ He just turned 9, and although will occasionally still play with his hot wheels and likes to watch the formula 1 and seeing super cars, his interests have expanded quite a bit and sport is life right now. This one funny image now floods me full of memories and is incredibly special to me as both a photographer and a mother.

I made this image 5 years ago. At the time I thought it was a funny kids were here image and one of the many random places we found cars around the house. Looking back at it now, it means SO much more to me than just a funny image. One image of a detail fills me with memories I never want to forget. ⁣
My eldest was OBSESSED with cars from a very young age. Car was his first real word, we watched Cars on repeat (he could recite the entire movie!), we had two cars birthday parties, he knew all the makes and models of cars when he was two and liked to point them out to us everywhere we went, we read car books, we went to car shows, we had car bedding and we bought more toy cars than I could ever count!⁣
He just turned 9, and although will occasionally still play with his hot wheels and likes to watch the formula 1 and seeing super cars, his interests have expanded quite a bit and sport is life right now. This one funny image now floods me full of memories and is incredibly special to me as both a photographer and a mother.

We would love to see your kids were here images and hear the stories behind them, so please tag your images with #unscriptedmentoring on IG.

- Jenny