I’d Like to Tell You A Strange Story: Child Photography that Doesn’t Suck

Many of you have probably noticed by now that my writing and vocabulary skills can resemble that of a, …ummm, not good writing …guy. That would be because I have never considered myself to be much a of a writer. I’ve always been more suited to visual representation than literary descriptions. In truth, before I got into education I was a full-time photographer. In truth, I still am a photographer.

Howard here wants  you to stay classy.  - Strange Tiny People

In truth, Howard here wants you to stay classy.

You can check me out at www.jbeardfoto.com and go like the facebook at facebook.com/jbeardfoto. And, of course, if you haven’t been following this blog on facebook (you really should be ashamed of yourself young man/woman/other..), then you can like it at facebook.com/strangetinypeople. I’ll wait for you to get that taken care of..


…got that? good, glad you’re back.

So, I told you that story to tell you this story:


At the end of this year I will quit teaching at my school to travel Asia teaching creativity courses and making photo-illustrations for a book of child-created stories.


If you have read any of my kids’ Bear-Shark Hunts, then you know that I am a big fan of teaching through creative story telling. At first I just wanted them to make some funny stories for me, but then I came to the realization that story telling was like gummiberry juice for the kids’ creativity. And the stories weren’t just simple cutesy tales. My kids told me dramatic tales of explosions, horror, espionage, and even immaculate conception. 

So many kids seem so lame and boring, when in reality it’s just that they have been failed by those responsible for igniting their innate creative abilities. With a little bit of creative training, they can use their own creative super-powers. Kinda like the sun for Superman, Spinach for Popeye, or tattoos for Henry Rollins.

Henry Rollins, so Emo

Seriously. If he could take them off he would just start living in his parents’ basement and write scripts that he “totally plans on sending to Wes Anderson”


Wait, what?

It beaks down like this:

I will be traveling throughout South-East Asia teaching creativity and story telling exercises to children who perhaps wouldn’t have very many opportunities otherwise. During these courses, I will be collecting the stories that the kids come up with to create photo-illustrations for these stories, using the child-authors themselves as the models. These will be in full detail and done by working very closely with the children to make sure it represents what they envisioned.

I plan to eventually create a book that will be used to promote the different schools and charities I work with. It’s worth noting that I don’t plan to keep a single dollar (kuai, dong, peso, whatever..) of the direct proceeds from this book or any prints made in association with it.

Here is an example of a story written by one of my current students and the photo-illustration I worked with her to make:

Chloe, The Pencil Princess of China - Strange Tiny People

The basic premise of this story (click here to read the full story and review) was that she was the pencil princess of China, but she faced a grave dilemma. Her people were abundant with pencils, however all the wood was used up making these pencils, leaving them with nothing to make paper for drawing on. She decided to take their prized magic jade pencil and travel to America to offer up as a gift in hopes of opening trade relations (apparently America has got paper for miles). Jeezus, even the kids here have global economic plans..

The blog will still focus on kids being bad-ass. It’s just going to have a lot more illustrations involved.

Yay pickhures!!

So keep your eyes peeled. Soon, (like, REAL soon) I’m going to be posting about how you guys can hep this project happen, and how you can get some pretty sweet shwag for helping, and even possibly WIN A FREE NON-WUSS PHOTO SESSION FOR YOUR KID.

HINT: Experts agree that the best way to keep your eyes peeled is to like the facebook page here: facebook.com/strangetinypeople

and my photo blog here: facebook.com/jbeardfoto


HINT on the HINT: Liking these may significantly increase your chances of winning said offer… stayed tuned to see how (you really should know how to stay tuned by now..)


Otherwise, I’ll have to tell all of Asia they you hate children.

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