my budding photographers: eleanor + samson’s first film debut

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i gave eleanor and samson each a disposable camera last month and taught them how to turn it on and press “click.” i told them to use the camera whenever they’d like, when they saw a moment they wanted to remember or something that made them feel something.  they were pretty ecstatic about it! a few summers ago we did this with eleanor, but we let her use my diana mini camera and unfortunately at the end of the summer, once all the film was completely used, she figured out how to open the back of the camera and unwound all the precious film… so nothing came of those pictures. and we figured we’d try again later on, maybe with disposable cameras instead.

when we got the film back from their latest cameras, i was rather impressed. we had the photos printed for them so they could hold them and look through them and save them. it was so much fun watching them look at the pictures, especially since disposable cameras are such a different concept from digital photography or iPhones or the way we capture most images these days.  besides a few darker fuzzy photos on each roll of film from forgetting to use the flash when taking photos inside, eleanor and samson actually surprised me with what they captured. it’s also rather sweet as their mama to see how many pictures they took of each other. haha!  and that top picture samson took of eleanor? that might be my favorite photo ever.  a few others below…


^^^when we went to see the rockettes perform, eleanor didn’t want a photo with them, she wanted to TAKE the photo!^^^


^^^samson took this one inside rebecca minkoff’s new shop when we stopped by check out the new place. i think that is amirah from flour shop posing for him in the background. haha!^^^


^^^i can’t figure out where this photo was taken. inside somewhere at an ATM? but it’s not an ATM. i don’t know…  it’s funny the times they decide the moment calls for a photo!^^^

eleanorcam2 eleanorcamera1

^^^on the subway!^^^

samsoncam11 eleanorcam8 samsoncam10

^^^samson took quite a few of this candy cane!^^^

eleanorcam9 samsoncam9 samsoncam8

^^^getting all artistic with his lighting! just kidding! but i love this.^^^


^^^this one made me laugh!^^^


^^^and this one, too.^^^

samsoncam5 samsoncam4

^^^also kind of sweet how everything from their view is looking up!^^^

eleanorcam7 samsoncam3

^^^this is a terrible photo of me, but i thought it was sweet anyhow. ^^^


^^^they seriously make me the happiest ever. love being their mama.^^^

  1. Alyssa

    This is so adorable! What a cute concept and great way to get kids off the ipads/iphones and really encouraging them to look around and see their world.

  2. Michimidue

    This is so, so sweet! They are gorgeous photographers, it’s really interesting to see the world from their perspective.

  3. Giselle

    Sweetest photos ever!!!

  4. Kathryn

    This is such a wonderful idea! So fun for you as their mama and for them. It’s a great way to encourage their creativity and try their hand at photography young.

    Plus, what they managed to capture is quite impressive! Loved looking at these pics.

    xx Kathryn

  5. Sinead

    Aww this is so adorable! They got some great shots between them :-)

  6. Hannah

    They’re good pictures aren’t they! This was such a nice idea :)

  7. Teresa

    This is too precious! I love giving my two year old my iPhone and then seeing all of the incredible things she takes pictures of. I know you’ll have a blast looking back at all of these!

  8. Aleksandra H

    This is the cutest thing ever! It’s such a joy to be allowed a peek into your life. It makes me smile every time!

  9. Nell

    Such a brilliant idea. Our eldest daughter turns 3 next week and is obsessed with taking photos on my iPhone so I think I’ll buy her a disposable camera as a little present. Thanks for the inspiration x

  10. Ady

    What a sweet idea! Love the results, too!

  11. Stacey

    This is the most adorable thing I’ve seen in a long time! They are too precious! and their skills are impressive! I love the first one of you and josh outside! So sweet! Xo.

  12. That’s such a great idea! I’m inspired to do the same thing with my boyfriend’s niece. She just turned 4, and as a birthday present, we gave her an adventure, where we will visit the National Aquarium in Denmark, and it would be so fun to give a disposable camera, so she could capture her favorite moments from the day!

  13. Ashley

    I LOVE this idea!! what a sweet way to get inside their heads :)

  14. Lara

    Love this so much! There is something so magical about real printed photos from film cameras. I’m not sure what it is, but when I look at photos that were taken from film, my heart just fills to the brim. Maybe it’s because they remind me of photos from when I was younger or before I was even born or if they just remind me of my mom since she was a photographer for a newspaper when I was little and religiously used film until about 6 years ago. :-)

    And seeing the world from the eyes of little ones is just beautiful!

  15. Julia G

    Wow! These photos are amazing especially since they are take by 2 and 3 year olds!!! I love everyone of them! You are opening there minds and keeping them creative at such a young age! Great mama! I want to do this when I have kids one day! Hopefully disposable cameras will still be at their disposal :) much love from Alabama!!love your precious family!

  16. selou

    just amazing!
    love it.

  17. I actually love the photos!!! I used to love having a film camera just because it’s different experience with taking pictures digitally. The downside is, I don’t want to pay extra for the people to get and print my photos out heheh.

    But those photos are lovely though! :)

  18. Ruth

    What a sweet idea!!

  19. Aw! They are so so lucky to have you – thank you for nurturing their creativity and making them feel valued by caring about their perspectives. These are so so fun – the angle is so cute!

    Warm Regards,

  20. Bea

    so funny!!!!and so creative for them! ;) nice idea!

  21. Lauren

    Ha! What a cool idea! The best pictures are always the ones you’re not expecting. It can be too easy to get into the mindset that every photo you take must be perfect when we all have iphones etc and can take a million pictures until we get the one we want. One of my plans this year is to buy a few disposables and see what becomes of them!

  22. Gemma

    What a magical way of capturing their little lives, such a lovely idea

  23. these are adorable! so fun to see the world through their eyes! totally doing this with my future kids! xoxo

  24. Michaela

    This is such a brilliant idea! They’re much better photographers than I am! :D

  25. So cute. I remember using these when I was little. I still have one that I took to camp with me in 5th grade and I haven’t developed it. I bet there are some gem photos on there.


  26. This is SO sweet. What a great idea. I’m totally borrowing this idea for when I have kiddos.

  27. crystal

    love this! I am going to have to copy the idea!

  28. fish

    brilliant, mama! thanks for sharing.

    this is a great activity for them, and a keepsake for you! and as a parent, what a treat for you to actually BE in a picture!

  29. Monique

    This is so gosh darn cute I can’t even take it!

  30. Julia

    What an amazing change of perspective! Lovely to see your life through the eyes of eleanor and samson.

    My mum use to give me disposables as well when I was little! You never know how it may influence there lives in the future…

  31. Jen

    These are so cute, I love this idea and can’t wait to do it with my kids one day!

  32. Britt

    Oh my goodness, this is one of my favorite post! What a great idea. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know they still made disposble cameras. I may need to go pick a few up! Happy New Year, Naomi! XOXO

  33. As a photographer, I have to say these kids have a talent. I hope they stick with it. Gotta start them young!

  34. Kate

    Oh my goodness, these are so great! Eleanor and Samson are way talented, I never would have guessed that some of these were taken by someone under the age of 4!


  35. This is so, so sweet! what an adorable idea, both for you and for them. Saving it in my “things to do when I have littles eventually” mental file! xx B

  36. Lisa

    Life from a different perspective, you know? I love this. :)

  37. Tara

    Bit that you need another voice about how sweet this is, but I can’t help it! Too cute. I love how in the store they’re under the clothing. What a great idea for kids. My 13 year old got a Diana F+ for Christmas and she can’t wait to get the film developed. Thanks for sharing.

  38. Rachel

    I think it’s wonderful you gave your kiddos a camera to take their own photos. My step-mother used to let me use her camera when I was very little and then would devolp the film and show me the photos I had taken. I agree, I think you have budding photographers! The pictures are super cute!


  39. hanna

    This is such a good idea! –Hanna Lei

  40. vicky

    what a great idea! fun pictures, Eleanor & Samson ;)

  41. Kirsten

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE this. whenever i have future children i want to do something like this with them. i love seeing what they see and what they capture because they think its important. so sweet.

  42. Andy

    My god! You have the most wonderful idea! ! The photos and both S & E are adorable. Great pics!

  43. Tammy

    My favorite part is the angle. Getting a knee-height view of the world – it’s adorable and made me smile this evening. Haha what cuties – and I don’t think there is a bad angle or moment of you my dear. You’re just glowing :)

    Hugs to you and the family. Stay safe and warm in this cold, cold NY weather :/

  44. Martha

    This is so awesome!

  45. that is just adorable!
    xo, cheyenne

  46. Shana

    I LOVE this idea!! They captured some great moments and I liked how everything was basically from the ground looking up :) The pictures they captured of each other are so adorable!

  47. isyana

    i heart this! :*

  48. Brandi

    This is seriously so fun. Reminds me of the old days when you couldn’t pick the best photos but just got what came in the roll. It was always a surprise.

  49. i swear you could sell these for so much! they are artsy just like their mama and papa!

  50. Ariel

    This is adorable! They captured some really cute moments those little budding photographers! ;)

  51. Christy

    What a great idea. I really love this post!

  52. This is such a great (and sweet) way to develop their creativity. These photos will be so fun for all of ya´ll to look back on someday.


  53. Patricia

    These are so fun! Heartwarming alert!

  54. joanna

    These photos are awesome!

    The mystery photo looks like it’s an airport check-in kiosk, no?

    • TAZA

      i think i figured it out! the post office!!!

  55. kari

    I love the low-level perspective, candid moments, disregard for traditional subjects and formal compositions, and the flash burst in the self-portrait reflection. How fun it must have been to look through the prints.

  56. Yelle

    it’s such a great idea to let them experience for themselves the things we got to growing up! not many kids know what a disposable camera is these days huh?

  57. Emily

    This is such a lovely idea! It’s amazing to see what little ones chose to take photos of!

    Beauty and Lifestyle Blog


  58. Sydney

    What amazing little photographers you have! My mother did this for us when we were little, and I still hold onto those images. It’s interesting to see the world through the eyes of a little me. But I have to say, I’m rather impressed by these images! Well done, Samson and Eleanor!

  59. Krista

    This is an amazing idea! I’ve been trying to gain new perspective with my own photography and learning from different people. Never did I think to put the camera in the hands of my toddler. Love!

  60. Laureen

    This is such a neat and fun idea. Since everything is digital and ‘instant gratification’ these days, this is just so special. Love seeing their perspective. :) I remember the anticipation of getting film developed.. Definitely might be doing this with our little ones someday soon!! Thanks for sharing. :)

  61. gali

    wow wow wow!!

  62. Hannah

    Your little kiddos are so sweet. That is such a great idea to give them a disposable camera. How cool is it to get an idea how they see the world. I love the photos they took of each other.

    My heart melts overtime I see your family. Can’t wait to see C grow up.


  63. Ally

    I love this idea so much! These photos made me smile, thanks for sharing them! So often I wonder what my own 2 year old is thinking, what a great way to see the world through their lens. I just might be stealing this idea from you :)

  64. Vivien

    Favourite post to date. :)

  65. Elle

    Omg I remember when I was little we used to always take pictures on disposable cameras!! I used to love them :) they were so much fun.

  66. Charlie

    Wow, some of these pictures actually are really good considering how young they are ! They’re little photographers in the making. What a great idea loving this post very much !!!

  67. Erin

    This is so precious!

  68. So cute! Especially love the first one. I used to do this with my kids when they were small too. I love to see their perspective on things and how they notice little objects that adults don’t even think about.

  69. Allison

    i am absolutely loving the candid through-the-eyes-of-a-toddler angle, seeing the world through their eyes. i hope it becomes a series :)

    i tried with my nieces when they took their first trip out of state… but sadly their mom didn’t give them their cameras, the whole trip was documented through phones.

    it’s really refreshing to see film.

  70. Sisilia

    As a mama + photographer I’ve done the same thing with my kids. It’s so fun seeing the photos back from the lab and seeing everything from their perspective.

  71. amazing idea!!!! Totally going to try this. So cool to see the world from a child’s perspective.

  72. Emma

    Love this! Where do you buy and develop the disposable cameras?

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  74. Kelly

    What a fun little activity, thank you so much for sharing these!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  75. Lisa Maria

    So cute! We gave my little brother a cheap digital camera when we went to Spain – I think it only held about 100 photos – and half of them ended up being of pigeons! It’s sweet to see the world through their eyes and what they think is important to capture.

  76. Abriel

    These are so cute! It’s so great to see how they view the world and from their view (looking up). Great idea!

  77. Katie

    This is such a sweet idea! It’s a wonderful way to peek from behind their eyes and see the things that they value.