Photographer Melissa Kaseman captures the essence of childhood by photographing the contents of her son Calder’s pockets. The colorful still life images show the treasures her son picks up each day at preschool, artfully presented and arranged. Called the 'Preschool Pocket Treasures' series, Kaseman’s photographs preserve the magical moments of childhood imagination, one tiny item at a time.
Each day when Calder comes home from preschool, Kaseman asks him to remove the treasure trove from his pockets. Pieces of colorful string, paperclips, stickers, feathers, sequins, plastic beads and the like have been found in his pockets every day, selected and saved by the tot as “important” items. To Kaseman, these items represent her son’s imaginative childhood, showing his worldview through the items he deems as precious.
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Preschool Pocket Treasures also act as a record of nostalgia and a chronology of Calder’s growth, showing the passing and progression of his phases through these objects. Each day, Kaseman examines his findings, then arranges them on a stark white backdrop before photographing. Together, the collection shows elements from the myriad of activities that fills Calder’s days that Kaseman misses while her son is at preschool.
Kaseman’s idea to document the magical moments of Calder’s toddler imagination came when she discovered random items in her mother’s jacket after she passed away. These random items gave Kaseman a peek into both important and fleeting moments in her mother’s life.
Images © Melissa Kaseman (Images have been rotated to fit our format.)