In October, I had the pleasure of traveling north to photograph the students and teachers of the Learning Circle Montessori Elementary School in Bozeman, Montana. For those of you that know my photography, you already know that I love to photograph children. Maybe it's because I'm a child at heart? I think helps me to reconnect with the wonder and curiosity we often lose track of as adults—a playful view of life, how everything is still magical and wide open to explore.
This Montessori school encouraged an innovative style of learning by creating two large open classrooms of combined grades (1st-3rd grade and grades 4th-5th). Without a formal classroom desk setting, students were encouraged to move about the room, self-guided and independently working on projects and assignments one-on-one with their teachers. Whether it was doing math problems or finding a comfy bean bag chair to read their book in, I saw examples of students happy to learn and explore new things, individually and together. As I observed them learn and play in this open environment, it reminded me how important it was to continually take note of the many wonders of life happening all around us. Being there, but not interfering with whatever they were doing, allowed me to capture that spontaneous joy they so naturally bring out, without interjecting my own adult preconceived notions of what I thought those images should be like. Its not so much about finding that perfect shot, as it is about a perfect shot finding me.