Fiesta de Arte {Christine Kay, Chicago Photographer}

Just a quick two-image blogpost for today. Here are the images I created, enlarged, and matted for the art show/fundraiser at the kids’ school tonight. These images make me happy. I love capturing childhood!
The first image is my son’s 4th grade class (their student teacher included). I simply asked them what they wanted to be and wrote down their responses. I didn’t edit their responses, didn’t probe them to come up some impressive answer, . . . I just wanted to capture who they are and what they’re dreaming of. So what if almost half the boys want to be soccer or basketball players?!? 10 year olds don’t exactly have to be practical. 🙂 And that’s part of the fun of being 10.

Below is my daughter’s second grade class on recess. Pretty straight-forward. Still, kids and hopscotch will bring a smile to my face every time.

Thanks for checking in! Maybe we can all dream and play like a kid this week. 🙂


Dina - June 21, 2012 - 3:27 am

I would love to Pin your “when we grow up” shot. It’s an AMAZING idea!!! Is that ok??

christinekay - June 21, 2012 - 3:30 am

Dina, thanks so much for the compliment and for asking. Of course! Enjoy. 🙂 As a note, the teacher featured was the kids’ student teacher so it was fun to include her in the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” to show that that isn’t just a question you ask in childhood. . . .

Laurie York - June 21, 2012 - 3:27 am

Beautiful! <3

Dina - June 21, 2012 - 4:30 am

Thank you thank you!!! Linked it back to you of course!!! You are super inspiring. Thanks for sharing your talent and following your dreams!

Barbara Miller - June 22, 2012 - 1:42 pm

I teach Kindergarten, this is such a cute idea!! I would loveto do this!!

Susan - June 22, 2012 - 2:20 pm

What a fantastic idea. I’ve taught for fifteen years, and would love to do this as a keepsake. Can you please tell me where you found the chalkboard that looked like a quote box or did you add it to the picture you took? If you don’t mind sharing I would certainly appreciate it.

christinekay - June 22, 2012 - 2:56 pm

Sure, no problem. I got the chalkboard quote bubble at Not sure if they still have it, but hopefully. . . Thank you for your dedication as a teacher! Teachers are awesome! 🙂

Hope - June 22, 2012 - 8:10 pm

Absolutely love your work. You have a fabulous eye!

christinekay - June 22, 2012 - 8:28 pm

Aww, thanks Hope!

Oldschoolteach - June 22, 2012 - 8:12 pm

Beautiful! I am so glad you did not make them change their answers. I’m sure many 10 year olds are not thinking seriously (adult-style) of a career. Wonderful! can I “steal” your idea for the 2012-2013 school year? 🙂

christinekay - June 22, 2012 - 8:28 pm

Absolutely, steal it! 🙂 Thank you for your affirmation. It was a very meaningful project and the kids’ eyes tell it all. 🙂 In case nobody told you today, THANK YOU for being a teacher!

DawnK - July 4, 2012 - 11:58 am

You have beautiful work! I would love to do this idea for my class next year. Did you create a template in photoshop to get the square layout or did you use a different program? Thanks for creating! Smiles

christinekay - July 7, 2012 - 4:20 am

Thank you for the sweet compliments. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to be super helpful here. I created a PS grid in order to create the image. However, I didn’t create something that I can share. I honestly hacked my way through it as I could not find a template with the right amount of squares and such. I would consult a graphic designer and see if someone could create a template for you. I’m sorry, wish I knew more about this type of usage of PS in order to create something I could pass on. . . 🙂

Joan - July 8, 2012 - 6:58 pm

Would love to “borrow” your “When I Grow Up” idea for our school auction coming up in October. My 4th graders would love to see themselves framed. Can I ask how large the finished product was? Thanks:-)

christinekay - July 9, 2012 - 2:49 pm

I enlarged to 16×20 and it turned out beautifully. The organizers of the auction loved it so much, they asked for second print for a gift for the principal at the end of the year. Best to you and your 4th graders! Thank you for your dedication to the kids. *I HEART TEACHERS* 🙂

christinekay - July 9, 2012 - 2:50 pm

Make sure you order it in a matte finish. Matte is always the way to go with professional prints.

Jaime - August 28, 2012 - 10:19 am

LOVE! May I recreate for my 3rd graders!? I think it’s so important to teach them to think ahead about education for life and making positive goals rather than what many schools do and have them dream of ‘passing a test’. Beautiful pictures!

monica - October 3, 2012 - 3:44 am

Brilliant! Absolutely, what I have been looking for. May I recreate for our 5th graders page? Simple yet self explanatory.

christinekay - October 4, 2012 - 4:24 pm

Of course, Monica! Go for it! Thanks for the interest.

Melanie - December 29, 2012 - 5:41 am

I love your “When we grow up” project and am going to try it with my 5th graders!

Did you use an actual chalkboard cut out like that, or chalkboard paper/paint on cardboard?

Ruby - January 27, 2013 - 8:15 pm

This is such a great idea, and I’m attempting it recreate it for my son’s 3rd grade class. I found how to make your own blackboard speech bubble’s as a project online, but it sounds like you just photoshopped the speech bubbles on the photos rather than having the kids actually hold it up for the picture? either way, it is a wonderful idea.. I’m sure mine wont come out as great as yours but I will try!

christinekay - February 2, 2013 - 3:25 pm

Thanks. Actually, I purchased the chalkboard speech bubble (from PhotoJojo) and had each child tell me what they wanted to be, wrote it in, and took the picture with it in their hands. No Photoshop on that part. Photoshop was used to create the collage. The custom collage was a bit of a trick since I don’t normally use photoshop to create templates. Might want to get a graphic designer to make the collage for you. It was a headache, I’m not going to lie. Ha! 🙂 Best of luck- C