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Photographing children's artwork

From crooked crayon houses to 1,000-piece Lego creations, your child's creations are just as important as the height markers on the doorframe. You want to keep everything, but soon realize you'll be overrun with artwork. Why not photograph it? Using your camera to document your child's artistic endeavors not only chronicles their development, but opens a whole new world of options. Best of all, you won't feel guilty about those late-night trips to the dumpster!


Photograph your children with their art
Remember when your toddler made a lollipop out of two Tinkertoy pieces? Now she's five and masters the Ferris wheel project with ease. Take photos of your kids with their artwork. It will help you remember their age when they created it – that beaming smile full of pride – and enable you to create an entertaining theme for your photo album.



Take individual photos of each piece
Playdoh gets reused; construction paper fades. In many cases, photographs of your child's creations will last longer than the originals. Take the pieces outside on an overcast day, or find an indoor location with even, non-glare lighting. Find a simple background, and use the close-up mode on your camera for smaller pieces. If you are indoors, experiment with your flash, since it may cause distracting reflections. Use your camera's review mode to make sure you didn't cut off any corners.



Frame it
Framing your child's art is the perfect way to show how much you appreciate it. And photography is the perfect way to accomodate big pieces, three-dimensional ones, or pieces made from inexpensive materials that will fade or dry out. Don't forget a nice mat, and have the artist sign and date her work.



Dedicate an album or scrapbook
Keep a small scrapbook or album of your children's artwork, perhaps one for each child. Mix photos of just the artwork with ones of your child holding their creations. Use the scrapbooking technique of actually placing a small piece (maybe a leftover) of the art project into the album. Add even more visual interest by including some of the smaller original pieces. A variation might include school portraits, report cards, and photos from PTA events.



Document the process
When kids are young, everyday events become just as important as birthdays and holidays, and just as worthy of photography. So don't forget to capture the artist at work. For those big projects, chart the project's development with a photo diary – from brainstorming to research to rough sketches to glorious completion. Show how she chews on her tongue when concentrating, how proud she is of her accomplishments, and how much fun she had along the way.



Create a slideshow on your computer
Move over refrigerator, now you can use KODAK EASYSHARE Software to create a special album of your child's artwork. Then make a slideshow to show the relatives when they stop over. If you're more computer savvy, use these pictures as your screensaver slideshow. Another possibility – create an online album at KODAK EASYSHARE Gallery, and relatives in far away places can order your child's masterpieces.


Write to CD
You might be raising the next Claude Monet, or you might just have a pile of finger paintings. But it will be years before your child's artistic genius is recognized. In the meantime, here's a good way to preserve youthful creativity without overtaking the attic. Using KODAK EASYSHARE Software, organize pictures of your children's artwork into chronological folders, then burn them to a CD. You'll have a fun (and loving) gift for their 18th birthday.


Create a calendar at KODAK EASYSHARE Gallery
Why not meet both your organizational and your "display" needs with a calendar featuring 12 of your child's masterpieces? At the Gallery, it's simple. Choose a background, select the photos of each piece, and choose your calendar's starting month. You can even add captions, like the title of each piece. Now you've got the perfect gift for Grandma – or your child.