3-Year-Old Photographer Makes National Television News

At just 3 years old, young photographer Ruby Ellenby captured the attention of her hometown last month with her first solo exhibition in San Francisco. Tonight, Ruby’s story was featured on NBC Nightly News. The piece offers a mini behind-the-scenes peek at how Ruby goes about shooting, and some of her fans share their thoughts. Cute!

(via NBC Nightly News)

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  • tage01

    ffs people wake up… kid walks around and shoots everything that looks interesting… that's it. there's nothing more to it. if it wasn't for her parents who are photographers and could pull some strings to make showcase of her work available no one would notice anything special about a kid wandering around with a point-and-shoot.

  • wake up dummy

    I sense some jealousy…..

  • Shooter

    I agree with tage01, this is just a 3 y/o with a point and shoot. There is nothing interesting about this. My 3 y/o has figured out my 7D and he shoots a lot of cool stuff with it, does that make him a prodigy? NO. And a showcase worthy artist? NO. He is just having fun and learning how a camera works. Why mess that up for him like these parents did for their daughter? Selfish if you ask me. Drawing attention to their own work by exploiting their daughter.

  • David

    the arts not interesting at all, if she had an eye for composition (and new what manual mode is), it would be cool. but no.

  • Je' Bo

    I am a photographer and I still feel like a 3 yr old walking around with a point and shoot. I think this is great. Good for her and good for her parents for encouraging their daughter to be creative. How can anyone say this is a bad thing??

  • Ford

    and thus begins the eternal question, “art = what?”

    a 3 year old takes some photos, so what? an amateur artist paints some canvases in his basement and sells them at a weekend art gallery, so what? i guess it's only legit when the artist is familiar with the tools? not trying to be confrontational, i think this is a really good conversation to have.

    my belief is this little girl is an average kid taking pictures of things she likes. but i also think this is beautiful photography. i also believe these photos aren't any less artistic or inspirational than the next up-and-coming photographer. what do you guys think?

  • Paul Sullivan

    I'm a professional photographer and think this story is cool. I've noticed a lot of negative comments, many of them from photographers, and I think they are missing the point. Of course the photos aren't 'exhibition worthy' in any professional sense, and of course many other kids might be able to also shoot equally good or better stuff (tho my 2 year old hasn't gotten to grips with my iPhone camera just yet). But this isn't about “art” so much as it is about the fact that photography needn't be about technology, camera models or expensive lenses but simply a way of recording what you see in the world. It's not about the images themselves (tho I enjoyed their naturalness and innocence) as it is about showing the way Ruby (and, yes, perhaps any other 3 year old with a camera) sees the world. In that sense I found the story/images edifying. The parents themselves have stated that this is not to be taken too seriously, and any photographer (or otherwise) that gets worked up about it is only gonna look jealous or bullish. I personally wish Ruby all the best with her future career :)

  • winningkid

    this is just a 3 y/o with a point and shoot. There is nothing interesting about this

    typical american junky attitude trying to show how great they are n their future generation is; go get some life

  • David

    only cool once

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  • seegullmedia

    I am reminded of walking into a modern art gallery and seeing a canvas with a black square painted on it. If someone were to steal it, the canvas could be reproduced in the back room in a matter of minutes. Is that really art? Is this really art? Who knows…

  • allanwhite

    My oldest (9) likes to walk around the neighborhood with my iphone and shoot photos of interesting things (plants, old type on a street, a car with jewels glued all over it). We post it to a private photoblog to show friends & family.

    The object as I see it is to teach her to “see” – to notice beauty, and through the process of curating and posting, learn what makes art.

    I think that's what this 3 year old's parents are essentially doing; encouraging her to notice beauty/interestingness and encouraging her to think about her. The gallery show is really just an additional step. The fact that some see value in some of the prints (many are not really noteworthy IMHO, on their own merits) is just icing on the cake.

    Insightful comments, Ford & Paul. Art = what? =)

  • Phat Photographer

    Kids have a wonderful perspective. I was training my daughter to be my photography assistant but now I realize that was short sighted when I could have been selling her photos :)

  • Daniel

    My parents are photographers as well. All of my sisters and I were learning manual focus and some very basic aperture and shutter speed settings (really just not to play with them) by three. Clearly the standards have been lowered.

    That's not to say I think letting the girl play with a camera is pointless, I would never have developed the eye I have today without all those hours and rolls of film. It should be PLAY though, not an excuse to set your three year old up with an exhibition and publicity (however minor it is).

  • Ashes

    Isn't that what all photographers do? Or is it because shes so young that you don't think her views should matter as much? Ive seen plenty of abstract photographs that I haven't liked as much as this young ladies.

  • Anne

    Simplicity and beauty from a childs perspective. Refreshing.

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  • Shanon

    I must say that I have a 4.5 year old and he never had any sort of interest in photography and when he did use the camera he never really had anything in his shots, now my 2.5 year old daughter picked up the camera and she takes amazing pictures – she looks at her shoes and gets them great in the shot, she takes pics of logs & trees and just uses the camera in a away that the pictures look amazing – I have to say the little 3 year old Ruby's pics are pretty & are something probably only the innocence of a child's eye can catch…

  • vanita singh

    I m getting laugh….why is there so noise around.This is just something being shared by a gardener(Ruby's parents) about the new bud(Ruby and her photography) grown on the plant.We all are global family.And in a family every small thing shared is cherished…..This is something to be happy about…'s a new life taking shape….com'mon guies…..let's encourage her n her parents for guiding her as well as giving her …her own space just like abutterfly!

  • Toxdoc3

    Andy Warhol used a freakin polaroid camera for most of his work, does that make him any less of a photo icon? No. There is a difference between snapping a picture (with any camera) and seeing the composition. Anyone who has tried to get beyond travel postcard photo shots understands this. The question might be how many shots does she take before she gets a great photo, such as those displayed? The little girl has talent. Enjoy don't destroy.

  • Libby

    …they're not good, at all. If I had the money to give my 3 year old a good camera and her own photography debut, I would. This is ridiculous, cute but not worth the hype.

  • Teacher Guest

    I am a teacher and I hate to say this but it's not that big of a deal.
    I could not stop laughing when she talked about the child stopping and noticing the beauty of it all. LOTS OF CHILDREN DO THIS, this is how they learn they stare at something, they point at it and ask questions, the only difference is, is that this girl has a point and shoot. I would be impressed but the child has no understanding of what she is doing or why she is snapping photos of it.
    I am not against teaching children to express themselves through art, I think art is a vital part of our society and a teaching method for children however this is not gallery worthy nor news worthy. It is especially not worth 40 dollars.
    I have a classroom of 4 year olds whom would do the same thing if handed a camera.

  • Scott

    Well, let's see–The story is about a girl in San Francisco, which is in America.
    The comment addresses the likelihood that the child receives assistance and promotion from people who know what they're doing, so it's no big deal.
    Strangely, winningkid has decided to call out a commentor for observing the obvious, which is that it is no big deal, insults the United States, and accuses everyone in the country of thinking they are great and so is the future generation–Even though the commentor said the exact opposite.
    I have GOT to wonder where winningkid's photos are.

  • Shutterbug

    With digital photography now everyone thinks they are a photographer.

  • Phobos

    Reminds me of the documentary “My Kid Could Paint That”, the documentary about a young artist, who coincidentally had artist parents, who sold her paintings for thousands of dollars. Then everyone grew really suspicious because there was no video evidence that she had ever done the works herself. This seems to be similar. The kid might take the pictures. People buy them because they're by a 3 year old. If they were taken by a 25 year old, they wouldn't be as cute and kitschy. It's just further proof that people can be manipulated into buying pretty much anything.

  • Ken

    That's very nice. Good for her.

    More kids should have cameras. I loved the documentary Born Into Brothels-Calcuttas Red Light Kids.
    very inspirational!

  • gabe

    well, isn't that what we are supposed to do? have fun and shoot everything that looks interesting? what's the point of photography then? knowing the difficult parts of a camera doesn't make you a photographer just like having the best camera out there doesn't make you a photographer either. That kid, photographing whatever, is the very essense of photography, you being uptight, isn't.

  • sane

    it's a girl with a point and shoot, jesus christ

    san fransico really HAS disappeared up it's own asshole

  • Scott


    Now, THAT would be an Interesting Photo!

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  • Sking41308

    This little girl has found something she likes to do, and GOD BLESS her for that. All of you on here who want to put this little girl down because she is using a point and shoot or doesnt have the shot composed the way you would, GROW UP! She is a child!!!! I am a professional photographer and I think this is awesome. She is showing us the innocence of the world thru her eyes. You go Girl!!

  • Fancymonster

    Oh, you Americans…

  • Fuckoff

    how the fuck is this news?

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  • Ranma13

    Even Americans think this is ridiculous. If she wasn’t 3, nobody would care. This reminds me of that blind photographer post on PP…

  • Ranma13

    Even Americans think this is ridiculous. If she wasn’t 3, nobody would care. This reminds me of that blind photographer post on PP…

  • guest

    the point of this is seeing through the eye’s of a small child.  They have a different perspective then adults and I’m assuming you failed art school because of the lack of conception. 

  • guest

    that’s not the point.  Think about the time you were 3 years old and the capturing your memories on camera.

  • guest

    I’m glad you weren’t my teacher. You completely missed the point.

  • guest

    your anything but sane and completely missed the point

  • Bbae2010

    i agree; this story has nothing to do with “connections by the parents” either you get on board or you don’t (period)

  • Bbae2010

    and yes i will be buying one very soon. xoxo

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