If ever there was a reason to hand you kid your camera no matter the expense it would be Zev from Massachusetts. Also known as fiddle oak, Zev tells me he started shooting when he was just 8-years-old. “I think my love of photography started out with a love of cameras, the mechanical click of a nikkormat never gets old.”
Zev’s surreal little folk series is the first bit of his work that caught my eye. Within each fantastical photo he manages to give the impression of an undiscovered community of tiny people going about their days all around us that we “normal-sized” humans can’t see… Or that we could see if we just took the time to slow down and drink in our surroundings instead of rushing through our days. Just looking at one of Zev’s photos where, as My Modern Met says, “blades of grass stand at equal height, a leaf can be used as an umbrella, and an acorn makes a suitable seat” gets my imagination firing like it used to when reading books like “A Wrinkle In Time” or “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.”
During an email exchange with the teen (that frankly left me with the feeling I was conversing with someone three times his age) Zev explained what prompted him to play with size and ratio in his photos, many of which are self-portraits. “The over arching concept of the littlefolk pictures is a very broad, but simple idea. dreams of flying, and walking barefoot feeling every pebble. two phenomenally–unrecognizably different experiences of the same exact place. what I like about shooting the pictures is putting my eye near the ground and seeing from their (the littlefolk’s) perspective.”
Yeah. He’s fourteen.
After perusing Zev’s photos and exchanging emails I became intrigued by this wise and talented beyond-his-years boy and inquired what his parents did to inspire his personality and passion so that I could perhaps learn the secret to raising a kid like Zev. He tells me “well, I am (and have been all my life) home schooled, and that has given me the time to really follow my passion. everyone in my familiy being artists of one type or another, and very supportive certainly helps.”
When asked by You, Me and Charlie to explain art to a 5-year-old Zev says, “Describing art, what an impossible task! But I would say, that art is a dream that you can share with others. It is the only way to accurately communicate feelings and emotions.”
This young man blew my mind…And he’s about to blow yours.
Zev credits Flickr for inspiring him to take chances with his photography, saying “Not any one photographer in particular, but just the fact that there is a welcoming community of talented photographers, ready to spill their hearts out in their pictures. To be inspired by, and inspire with your pictures. Just going on there gives me a burst of passion for photography.”
All photos used with permission from Zev whose amazing work can be found on his Flickr page, Fiddle Oak.
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Click through to see them all!
Meet Zev 2 of 22
This is Zev. He is about to blow your mind. Not only for a talent unbelievable at any age but because he's creating all of this at just 14-years-old.
Summer Tales 3 of 22
"rafting in lake waban on a summers eve." - fiddle oak.
The Melody 4 of 22
"The melody. But no lyrics." - fiddle oak.
On A String 5 of 22
After a pause, Zev has started posting more little folk photos again just recently. You can see his latest here.
Presence 6 of 22
This photo evokes so many different emotions, I love it so much.
Bless My Sponge Bath 7 of 22
"Bless my sponge bath: a quote from the book Tom Swift and his Submarine Boat which is the main character in this. I felt terrible bending up an old book, but hopefully being squashed on the shelf for a couple of years will flatten it out again." Yeah. Zev does Origami too.
Of Springtimes Past 8 of 22
"spring is springing at full tilt now, and it's nice sometimes to just sit and watch the greens appear and think about how the plants hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of years ago would look the same as the one before you. it's like in that little bit of new life there is a portal to a long and winding past that we can only wonder about." - fiddle oak.
Air 9 of 22
"Air." Part one of Zev's photo series on the four classic elements which overlaps with his little folk series.
Water 10 of 22
"Water." Part two of Zev's photo series on the four classic elements which overlaps with his little folk series.
Earth 11 of 22
"Earth." Part three of Zev's photo series on the four classic elements which overlaps with his little folk series. Pull up an acorn!
Fire 12 of 22
"Fire." Part four of Zev's photo series on the four classic elements which overlaps with his little folk series.
Build 13 of 22
House of cards...
Stowaway 14 of 22
"...I'm gonna climb up in my mailbox,
I'm gonna mail myself to you..."
Around The World 15 of 22
Stories in the sky.
Flight 16 of 22
"Tell them I am still here somewhere." - fiddle oak.
The Fall 17 of 22
"Autumn. Or The Fall." - fiddle oak.
Jump 18 of 22
"No more than the air." - fiddle oak.
Balancing Act 19 of 22
"They thought the race would never begin." - fiddle oak.
Draft 20 of 22
"All the scribblings in the background are zev's and our papa's plans for the new treehouse. :] (featuring legs and feet drawn by our mama)" - fiddle oak.
Inspecting 21 of 22
Young 22 of 22
Thanks Zev. You are definitely one to keep an eye on right now and in the future.
(If you'd like to see more of Zev's self-portraits you can find him on Flickr as fiddle oak.)
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