Cultivating A Creative Soul

Let The Kids Find Their Creativity

“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

As some of you may know, my parents and I are homeschooling my son (13yrs old).  Fridays are Art days in our household and my son has picked photography for his first unit. I am teaching him to shoot from his sweet little heart… to dig deep and create something that lights up his soul… to set out on an adventure and  pay attention to all of his surroundings so he can capture what makes him feel good.

In this blog post I cover at topic near and dear to my heart. You will also get an update on what my boy is learning in his photography journey 🙂

Heading out on an outdoor photography adventure and learning photography

I am a firm believer in discovering or unleashing the creative soul we all have within.

I read a lot… and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT 😉  In the last 3-4 months I have read and listened to a total of 13 books. Ha!  Two that stick out as I write this blog post are 2 audio books I have been listening to:

  1. One by author Richard Louv, titled “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder”. 
  2. The other by my new favorite person in the whole wide world (seriously I love listening to her!!), Brene Brown ,titled “The Power of Vulnerability; Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, & Courage”.

I have been listening to these through  I have a membership and this allows me to get FREE books ALL the time 😉

Anyways, in “Last Child in the Woods” the author discusses “the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, he links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.”

The discussion on children not getting outside and developing certain disorders is obviously a whole other topic, but what it really got me thinking about is that we tend to begin to develop some of our lifelong habits (good or bad) in our childhood…. whether it is something learned along the way or something we learned in our home environments, from our parents.

In Brene Brown’s talk about Vulnerability she speaks about developing a pattern in her research on Wholehearted Individuals and some things they all have in common; which turned into her developing 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living.  One of those guideposts is Cultivating Creativity and Letting Go of Comparison.  She states that we ALL have this ability within us… whether it’s photography, painting, piano or other instrument, writing, telling stories, speaking, drawing, designing, fashion, creating picture collages, creating videos or movies, scrap booking, blogging, Lego building, etc.

Don’t worry, there will be more pictures to look at; keep reading 😉

As I am reading the two books, they both resonated with me on the importance of not only getting children outside to play, but also the great need for us parents to allow them them the time and help them discover and cultivate their creativity. 

One way we can help them is to cultivate our OWN creativity… monkey see, monkey do… right??! 😉

Some kids are too busy going from one sport to the next, then onto homework, then bed, then repeat!  They aren’t allowed the space or time to cultivate their creativity.  What would be better time spent then taking an photography class together, or a painting class, or visiting a museum together to take in some art?? 

Let’s lead by example and get out to create and get creative with our children! 🙂

Art has a huge presence in our home.  For awhile I encouraged my son to do something creative for at least an hour each day… this eventually became a habit for him and he now seeks out something to do creatively most every day. 

With him learning photography we can cultivate this creativeness together.  And super lucky for us our backyard is absolutely gorgeous and there never seems to be a dull moment to be had out there! 😉

Winter is setting in. Learning how to take photographs. Behind the scenes look at what he is photographing

Here is the picture Camden took in the moment I captured of him above:

The photograph my son took as we were outside learning

An inside into what we’ve been covering the last few weeks in his creative photography time:

For the past 2 weeks we have been working on capturing images using different angles and points of view.  Some examples of different angles and POV (points of view):

  1. Getting down low
  2. Shooting from above and looking down
  3. Shooting from below and looking up
  4. Continue to work on the Rule of Thirds in frame

We have also been watching our backgrounds and making sure we pay attention to the picture as a whole.

  1. Checking for extraneous objects
  2. Make sure there is not another object or color fighting for the main attention over your subject
  3. Shooting for some negative space

Most importantly, we continue to shoot what grabs at our soul…I allow him to roam free and photograph what he wants, how he wants… to cultivate his own craft. 🙂

getting up close and personal with his subjects to capture details

A few Fridays ago it SNOWED!! Very heavily too!!  We set out and prepared ourselves for that cold morning into the ginormous flying fluffy flakes.

We grabbed our lens hoods and our clear bubble umbrellas to help shield our cameras from getting too wet.  Camden didn’t want to have to hold onto his umbrella, so he stuffed the handle down the back of his jacket to keep in place over his head; quite brilliant if you ask me 😉

on an adventure to photograph nature's beauty

Winter came on REAL quick here in Minnesota!!  Check out the image below for photographic proof!!!  We walked down the path and then BAM there was SNOW!!

where winter sets in

I absolutely LOVE following him around and watching him create!  Below are some images of Camden in action:

Creations by Camden that day:

The Following Week:

The snow has melted and everything is back to brown.  Camden grabbed some Legos and we ventured outside again to feed our souls.

Below is the image that he captured above:

Image by Camden. I love how he chose to include so much negative space!

Then he thought it would be fun to put the Joker on his side to make it look like he was laughing 😉

You will find us photographers in all sorts of different contortions to get “the shot” 😉 Below Cam is gettin’ down and creative!!

And the shot he took in that moment … Robin climbing a tree 🙂

Camden asked me, “Mom, does photography ever get boring?”  I answered him by saying, “Not if you continue to photograph what makes you happy. There will be times you may feel like you are in a rut, but your creativeness will always be there and will always return.”  He smiled and said, “Good, because I really enjoy it.” 🙂 

Here are the rest of his creations from that day:

Now, kudos to you if you made it this far in my blog post!! Ha! 😉 Thank you!!

Cultivating Creativity is important because it allows us all time to simply play… to do something that we love and enjoy… to feed our souls. Teaching our children this at a young age could do wonders for them as they grow and mature.




  1. Nicole Osborne Cowan says:

    Love this! I have homeschoolef my daughter in the past and getting ready to do it again. She is 10 and I feel that she doesn’t get outside nearly enough. When I was a kid I lived outside and you couldn’t keep me in the house. Times have changed and that is one part of homeschooling I’m looking forward to again. She is a very artsy kiddo so she is always drawing or creating something. She asked me if her first art lesson can be photography too since that is what mom does. I’m excited about that!!
    I will also be reading the books you recommend or listen to the as I too have a subscription to Audible. I love his pics! He is doing an awesome job!! And I relate to your article and loved it.

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