In our search for role models and identifying figures, we shouldn’t think only of celebrities and screen heroes because each day we often find people who do extraordinary things inconspicuously, right in our everyday environment. These everyday heroes are easily overlooked because they are people like you and me – and therefore authentic and credible role models for others. They are at eye level with us, and sometimes even a bit under our gaze – children especially, with their joy of discovery, their abundance of courage, and their inner freedom, are the little heroes who often set an example for us adults.
The hero theme as a whole is an important aspect for advertising and so also for stock photography. This applies more than ever in the networked world, an age of seemingly unlimited possibilities: We need orientation in the complex jungle of existence, people who serve as guiding figures and show us how it can work.
But we don’t want overpowering supermen and women for this, but people with whom we can identify, who share our values and are therefore a bit like us.
The first years of life are a great adventure
And it doesn’t always have to be the “big” role models; sometimes the little ones are much more interesting. Children are the true experts on heroic virtues such as courage, pioneering spirit, and the joy of discovery, because they need these qualities particularly to develop their abilities and understand the world. The first years of every person are a great adventure, because in this time we learn something new almost every day, helping us to grow into the world and into life. Again and again children amaze us with their tireless curiosity, their thirst for knowledge, and also with their inner freedom and sometimes impetuous ferocity – qualities which we adults easily lose on the long journey through life.
Children are pleased as punch when they can do something new that might have overwhelmed them yesterday, things we adults have long taken for granted: Taking their first steps, even tying their shoelaces, learning to swim, and learning new words – all this is a great adventure for them. Without any sober calculation, they have a keen sense of what they need, and it shows. They still have an eye for the essentials of life. A child’s cheerful laugh can infect even the crankiest grouch. Even our little heroes can often save the world – or at least the day. Their laughter, carefree nature, and unobtrusiveness affect us, comforting us when things don’t work out as they should.
Fantasy and creativity of little ones as an archetype
The theme “Superkids” is accordingly associated with many emotions and is a colorful toy chest with countless design possibilities for photographers. What good photographers need for their work, namely fantasy and creativity, little kids often have in abundance. For them, nothing is impossible when they slip into the most diverse hero roles while playing, be it as Superman or Wonder Woman, Knight, Astronaut, Spiderman, or Firefighter.
Their dreams are not yet clouded by any sober sense of reality, which sometimes blocks our view of new possibilities and perspectives. That’s why images of “Superkids” are so much fun: When we look at them, we become children again, travelling back to a forgotten, sometimes lost world – and perhaps we may even come back a few years younger at heart.