Story   Photographer   Editor   Student/Intern   Assistant   Job/Item

SportsShooter.com: The Online Resource for Sports Photography

Contents:
 Front Page
 Member Index
 Latest Headlines
 Special Features
 'Fun Pix'
 Message Board
 Educate Yourself
 Equipment Profiles
 Bookshelf
 my.SportsShooter
 Classified Ads
 Workshop
Contests:
 Monthly Clip Contest
 Annual Contest
 Rules/Info
Newsletter:
 Current Issue
 Back Issues
Members:
 Members Area
 "The Guide"
 Join
About Us:
 About SportsShooter
 Contact Us
 Terms & Conditions


Sign in:
Members log in here with your user name and password to access the your admin page and other special features.

Name:



Password:







||
SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Why are there no Photography Child Prodigies?
Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 5:39 PM on 03.05.13
->> This past week I was privileged to be with Dave Black at the Southwestern Photojournalism Conference in Fort Worth.

Dave made the observation about there are no child prodigies in photography. This got me thinking and I wrote a blog about it.

OK it may be a shameless promotion of the blog. If you think it is then don't click on the link and just post your on thoughts as to why there are no prodigies in this field.

Here is the link to my blog post on it
http://blog.stanleyleary.com/2013/03/child-prodigy-photographer-still-waiti...
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (2) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 5:59 PM on 03.05.13
->> Stanley,

Child prodigies in photography do exist. IMHO, they are just not recognized by the mainstream media or the guardians of the art/business/industry. Mostly I believe the scores of talented youths are simply ignored because of their age and lack of experience.

While personally I have seen work of maybe one or two, the most recent I would consider in that category would be Melanie Martinez one of them. View her work here:
http://littlebodybigheart.zenfolio.com/
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 6:02 PM on 03.05.13
->> Ugggh.... doing too many things at one time... The second to the last sentence should have read: "While personally I have seen the work of one or two, the most recent I would consider in that category would be Melanie Martinez."
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jonathan Castner, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 11:07 AM on 03.06.13
->> A 16 year old with fairly advanced photographic skill is not a child prodigy. An 8 year old who is the featured soloist for an acclaimed orchestra is a prodigy. A 10 year old writing symphonies, a la Mozart, is a prodigy. A 12 year old getting into MIT for mathematics is a prodigy.

I've read that the reason that there has never been a documented child prodigy in photography is that photography requires a variety of mental and often personality skills to be exceptional. If you think about all that you have to be able to do to be a good, not even great, photographer then you realize that prodigy's are specialists and photographers are a kind of mental jugglers who are doing lots of things simultaneously to do our job. That's just much much rarer.
 This post is:  Informative (3) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 12:25 PM on 03.06.13
->> Jonathan -- well put. Sums up my thoughts exactly.

I should admit, though, that I'm looking at the question through the lens (pun not intended) of a photojournalist who recognizes that the actual act of pushing the shutter button is really only a small part of the job. My guess is Jonathan views it through the same, and thus came up with the same assumption as I, that to do this job well, you need a comfort with and high ability to communicate with others, empathize, and really kind of a gut instinct to judge myriad social, interpersonal situations that I don't think any child, no matter how advanced, is capable of handling.

To my mind there are "prodigies" in this craft, they're just not children, at least not in the traditional sense. That is to say, they're usually older, often late high school, college-aged, which to some, is basically a kid; I'm 33 and a lot of folks see me as a kid, too.

I've had the pleasure of working with a lot of folks -- both as interns here at the DMN and elsewhere -- that possessed a maturity about story gathering and telling that blew me away. If that's a prodigy, then so be it. Maybe virtuosic is a more apt adjective.

Cheers,

- gerry -
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Thomas Meredith, Photographer, Assistant
Austin | TX | | Posted: 4:34 PM on 03.06.13
->> Well, they're kids. So that means they are probably shooting for free. They're innocent children creating for the love of the image and moment. Ergo, they are yelled at, shamed, hated on, and told that they are the reason mommy and daddy (who are also photographers) are starving. So… pretty much their soul is crushed before they are 10… ;-)
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Josh Peckler, Photographer
Chicago | IL | | Posted: 6:53 PM on 03.06.13
->> Here is a good place for some great work of photojournalist 25 years old and under. I believe there are a member or two of the Sportshooter community that are on here.

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/03/photojournalists_under_25.html
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Wally Nell, Photographer
SAN DIEGO | CA | USA | Posted: 7:05 PM on 03.06.13
->> I think you could get child proteges. However, practical issues like cost of equipment, weight of equipment, protection and safety issues; would hinder a young-ish child to do photography. In Egypt, I had a friend who worked with streetkids, handing them throwaway film cameras to play with, and some of them came away with pretty good results. None were proteges, but I think the potential is there. Photography is not a 'safe' occupation or artform. We often go into places that pose some danger. As adults we can handle this most of the time, but we would not want to see children doing the same thing. However, give children a paintbrush and easel, or a piano, and it is easier to detect a protege because it is in a safer environment than what photographers would find themselves in. Understanding how a camera sees light and making the camera interpret what you are seeing, is also not natural, it is taught. As you all know, having your camera on a Program setting or something like that, is not going to give you the results you are seeing with your eye. Perhaps when cameras get closer to being able to interpret the light in a scene, we may see more child proteges. Who knows!
For now, the learning curve involved in knowing your tools hinders having child proteges in photography.
My 11 piastres...
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 3:50 PM on 03.07.13
->> First, the real issue of why there are no child prodigies in photography is that, unlike chess, music and math, there no standards in which to determine exceptional ability. What criteria must be met in order to determine prodigy status (something that would probably take centuries to determine since photographers can barely agree on how to price their work)? Then there is the question of who determines prodigy status.

Unless it was an error, the question Mr. Leary raised was at photography in general. It seems most who responded, and to the negative, answered the question from their perspective as it relates to the work they currently perform. IE: "... practical issues like cost of equipment, weight of equipment, protection and safety issues; would hinder a young-ish child to do photography."

For photojournalism and sports, definitely, but considering other genres of photography that do not require significant equipment such as portrait, landscape, conceptual or fine art work, equipment certainly would not be an issue. It would not be hard to create high-quality fine art work with a G10 or similar camera.

Jonathan wrote: "I've read that the reason that there has never been a documented child prodigy in photography is that photography requires a variety of mental and often personality skills to be exceptional."

The sum developmental attributes, especially those related to conceptualization, that are necessary to create a body of work that would demonstrate exceptional ability would generally not appear the age of 12 to 14 according to research in childhood development (side bar: I'm lucky enough to live with a woman who lectures on the subject of child and live span development - which is probably the reason she puts up with me). Therefore, as it relates to art, science or documentation, the appropriate age range of photographic prodigy would likely in the age range of 12-21. The word "child" would be fitting minors, as per the legal definition, under the age of 17. Determining what skill set must be consistently demonstrated to warrant consideration as a prodigy would be another beast of a discussion.

My .18R ...
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Richard Favinger Jr, Photographer
Pottstown | PA | USA | Posted: 5:31 PM on 03.07.13
->> Jayson Kingsbeer from NZ comes to mind. May not be what some consider prodigy, but he made it a business at age 14.

Jayson Kingsbeer Breakfast Interview - 14th September 2009
http://vimeo.com/14352022
And his website:
http://www.kingsbeer.com/
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (2) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 8:42 PM on 03.07.13
->> Me.

:-)
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (1) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 12:13 AM on 03.08.13
->> crap. this thread made my head hurt. but then mark responded . pain gone...realized it was a joke........bahahahahhaha!
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Talya Arbisser, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 10:41 AM on 03.08.13
->> Clark - out of curiosity, is this the same Melanie Martinez from 'The Voice'?
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 11:17 AM on 03.08.13
->> Talya - Yes, it is.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Add your comments...
If you'd like to add your comments to this thread, use this form. You need to be an active (paying) member of SportsShooter.com in order to post messages to the system.

NOTE: If you would like to report a problem you've found within the SportsShooter.com website, please let us know via the 'Contact Us' form, which alerts us immediately. It is not guaranteed that a member of the staff will see your message board post.
Thread Title: Why are there no Photography Child Prodigies?
Thread Started By: Stanley Leary
Message:
Member Login:
Password:




Return to -->
Message Board Main Index
What's in YOUR bottom band? ::..