[Photo blog] The other side of being a child -- through the lens of sponsored children

Photography is an art.

Photography is a skill.

Photography is a form of communication.

A single picture can tell a story that crosses cultural and linguistic boundaries. It can evoke emotion or engagement (think National Geographic, Afghan refugee), freeze a moment in history (think WWII), or even start a revolution (think Arab Spring).

Pictures tell stories, not only about what is within the frame, but also about those behind the camera.  What we, as photographers, choose to focus on, include, or not include in an image says a lot about who is behind the camera.

Recently, 70 sponsored children from three World Vision Area Development Programs in Mexico were given some basic photography training, a camera and the chance to tell their community’s story through their own lens. Their assignment: “show the other side of being a child: not poor, not indigenous, but a happy child.”

These are some of their images.

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Photo by Ivan Sanchez, 16. | Through our lens -- Mexico.

Photo by Gerardo Torres, 14. | Through our lens -- Mexico.

Photo by Julissa Xicahua, 15. | Through our lens -- Mexico.

Photo by Misael Santiago Cruz, 14. | Through our lens -- Mexico.

In Mexico, 70 sponsored children participate in a photography workshop with the objective to capture "the other side of being a child."

Giving kids the power and the tools to tell their story through images is just one way World Vision is helping to build a better world for children—one photo at a time.

You can see more photos from your sponsored child's community on the new MyWorldVision. Not yet a sponsor? Find a child to sponsor today.

Do you ever let your kids take your camera? What do their pictures show you about the other side of being a child?


    Great idea!

    Do it with more and more kids. Send copies to local and national elected officials. Send copies to journalism departments at national universities. Do this project 100 times and I bet you'd be astounded at what would be returned to you.

    Can you keep the photo blog going so we can see the work of more children?

    Hey Lynn, Thanks for the feedback, and great idea... We have plans to do lots more photo blogs from here on out, too!

    What great shots. I love how they are focused on day-to-day things,the type of things my daughters would take pictures of. Even though it isn't the focus, you still see the hardship that is all around them.

    Great idea, hope to see more!

    Love this idea. Looking at the pictures especially by Ivan sitting in the abandoned pickup truck makes you realize that children around the world are very much the same....they have dreams and wishes just like everyone else. It is just harder to achieve those dreams when you are having to worry where your next meal is coming from, how will I get to school, who is going to take care of me? Thank you World Vision for letting me be just a small part of making these children's dreams and wishes come true.

    Thank you so much Lindsey for passing this along to Heidi. I can think of no better way for Tuck and our staff to fly into 2012 than this. These children and the work you all do is extraordinary! I look forward to to helping all I can. Have a wonderful new year!

    Hello Heidi,

    These photographs are beautiful, not the least because the innocent and clear eyes of children captured them. I have been looking for a way to contribute what I can to promote awareness regarding the plight of children worldwide.

    I am the creator and editor of a lit and arts journal, Tuckmagazine.com and one area is specifically dedicated to photography. I would like to extend an offer to you and the children, to display their art in our February issue. I can't seem to locate an email address for you but if you feel this would be a positive and helpful experience for the children and World Vision, you can reach me at editor@tuckmagazine.com to discuss the matter further. I am of an activist leaning on behalf of the poor and abused, most especially the most precious souls on our planet, the children.

    Val -- Passed your kind message onto Heidi... she is planning to email you soon. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity!

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