I love this photo of my youngest. For the last couple of years, I have taken the school photos at our little country school with a teeming population of twelve students. I also do my home school high school kids photos and took some photos of little Claudia since the other kids all had photos (except two boys who need to sit for me). I have some lovely smiling shots but there is just something about the petulant pout of a toddler that is just delicious.
We have a quarter mile long drive way and I wanted a shot of her with some nice leafy bokeh behind her so I trotted her out to the drive. She was displeased because it is a road and roads are for cars. She is so right...and so cute. I love this. When I am an old woman and she is a fine, grown woman, I want to remember her just like this.
Speaking of remembering photos, I did not get any of my son's birthday party last night. We invited the whole school over and then a friend from church and her two kids and her mother-in-law and sister-law, and another friend of mine with her two kids. And the novice monk. It is not a party unless you have a man in black, amiright? His birthday is actually next week but this was a night that worked for people so this is when we did it. Saturdays are hard because we have church and most other people don't and then days when we are fasting is hard to have others over.
I really should have gotten some photos. I stayed in the kitchen cooking a giant meal for six adults, four teens, and sixteen children. I also made two chocolate truffle pound cakes in Bundts and glazed them with white chocolate. It was pretty darn good if you ask me. The moms sat around my table with my oldest daughter and crocheted and we talked about yarn and patterns and whether or not this will be a harsh winter. It was wonderful but I don't have a single photo. I tell myself I am not a "real" photographer because I often just put down my camera and live in the moment. I think that if I were legit, I would always have it clicking away. Maybe that is true and maybe it is not.
I am not sure I want to only experience things through my camera lens. While I am so grateful for being able to capture moments like Claudia pouting on the driveway, I am also happy to capture them in my mind. I will remember chasing kids away from the cakes and all the begging for a second slice. I will remember the noise and chaos of all those people running around and in and out of the house and the moment one of the kids jumped off a railing and right into a pile of sheep poop.
What is more, is the experience of everyone else there would have from the other side of the camera. I think always having the camera going would mean that I would have a different experience. That is not always bad necessarily. I am glad to be able to observe and record things. There is still a distance between me and my in-laws and I think my Latin mercurial temperament and tendency to hug and kiss everyone still freaks them out a bit, decades into my marriage. When my father-in-law's brother passed away last fall, his long time friend and companion asked for some photos. I was grateful to her for the job because it allowed me to hide out and put a camera between my face and the world. In the end, this was good for me. Sometimes I just want a little slice of time to take out and ponder. Like these two photos of Claudia taken minutes apart.
I think for me, photography is finding a balance with being in the moment and recording the moment. There is that old saying that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. I think that is something like photography. You can't just sit and soak up the moment, eat cake as it were, and simultaneously hold it in a photograph forever and keep it. I might never be a "real" photographer but I think I am okay with that.