The purpose of this Kickstarter is to take the images that I created with my son and turn them into a book and gallery show that shares our journey. My goal is that these images will remind other moms or dads out there who may be losing their patience in line at the grocery store or coffee shop that our kids aren’t just acting like fools - they are exploring new frontiers. Our job as parents is to act as their mission control and co-pilot to make sure they can explore as much of their new world as possible.
What are you supporting when you back this project?
- Satisfaction of knowing that you are one of the smart people who are helping to introduce S.T.E.M. to the next generation of Scientists, Engineers, and Astronauts.
- Travel for myself and my little astronaut to New York City, Washington DC (and Florida’s Space Coast if we exceed our funding goal!) to complete photography for the project.
- New space suits/helmets (a four year old is pretty tough on wardrobe and props)
- Costs related to production of the book and prints for the upcoming exhibition.
How Did It All Start?
I had the idea for "Small Steps Are Giant Leaps" while I was riding the bus with my three year old son. What was a normal, everyday event to me had him completely transfixed. Seeing that look of amazement on his face at something so commonplace really struck me. I realized that my son is an explorer, and the world I take for granted, to him, is an amazing place filled with new sites and experiences. I knew that I wanted to somehow document his journey of exploration but had no idea how I was going to do it.
Later that same week, he got an ear infection and needed to go to the doctor's office. Unlike most three-year-olds, my son loves the doctor's office - every part that is except for the exam table. My son had two fears: hand dryers and exam tables, and I was continually trying to find ways to help him face and overcome his fears.
As we sat waiting for the doctor, I asked my son if he would sit on the exam table. Of course his answer was no. So then I asked him what type of people were brave enough to sit on exam tables. We discussed the usual cast of brave people: police officers, firefighters, etc. He said "What about astronauts, Dad. Are they brave enough? I said "Sure they are. After all, they sit on top of rockets and get blasted into space and, before they do that, they have to go to the doctor's office A LOT!". We pretended that he was an astronaut, and he sat on the exam table with no problem. When his exam was over, I told my son how proud I was of him for being brave like an astronaut. He said to me "Next time I get sick, I can wear my astronaut helmet here and you can take a picture of me, right dad?".
At that moment, the final piece of the project came into place, all thanks to my amazing little astronaut.
One spacesuit, two helmets, and more than 14 photoshoots later, I am so proud of my little astronaut. He really enjoyed working with me on the project, and we’ve used it to help him get over his fear of hand-dryers, exam tables, and hair clippers. We have shot everywhere from the museum to the city pool. We have had great local companies allow us access to movie theaters, old-school barber shops, $600 a night hotel rooms, and, back where it all began, the city bus.
As adults we spend our days rushing around, going places we don't like and doing things we don't want to do. It can be tough to remember that, for our kids, this is an entirely different world. My son spends his days exploring new and exciting places right here on Earth. "Small Steps Are Giant Leaps" is about reminding parents that everywhere you go, this is a new and exciting world just waiting to be explored. Our job as parents is to help our children as the explore and make discoveries.
I hope that this book and the prints that are going into it will help be a reminder to busy parents to take a breath and help their little explorer make a new discovery or explore a little bit more of their world every single day.
Risks and challenges
The main issue currently is finding a gallery/exhibition space to host the show. With the nature of this project, I am hoping to partner with a location that is family friendly to really help encourage the discussion of helping our children explore and take ownership of their world. I am currently reaching out to several science centers and other parenting organizations to help in the search for the perfect setting for the show.
**5/6/16 - we have a venue and a Gallery show on the books for April 2017 at Wild Goose Creative here in Columbus Ohio! So this is NO LONGER a RISK/CHALLENGE!
The photography for the project is approximately 80% completed with additional shoots planned for this summer in NYC and Washington DC. Initially, I had planned on travel to Cape Canaveral, Florida to photograph my little astronaut at an actual rocket launch, but due to cost of deliverables and fees to Kickstarter and for credit card processing, that destination will only be guaranteed if we exceed our initial funding goal of $4,000.
Once all shoots are completed I will begin layout of the book. Layout and production time are flexible and I believe that I have scheduled more than enough time to still allow final rewards to shipped on schedule or even early, but the timetable provided by the printer may change based on their backlog at time of print. The closer we get to sending the book for printing, the more definite our delivery dates will be.
**5/8/16 - I have hired an editor to help me cull images and put together the best shots for the book and gallery shows. This will help me preserve objectivity and also help me keep to a fairly tight timeframe!
- (29 days)