Posts Tagged ‘ Polaroid ’

How I Get My Kid To Smile For Pictures

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

19 months.

Last Friday morning as Jack was enjoying his sliced banana and whole wheat French toast breakfast, he randomly picked up one of the morsels of bread and pretended it was a rocket ship: “Vvvvrrrooo…”.

In an attempt to capture that classic moment of toddler randomness, I grabbed my camera from the counter and stepped up to Jack.

Well, I missed him piloting his magical French toast morsel, but even better, Jack broke away from his fantasy world and smiled really big for the camera.

He knows what the camera is for now. In other words, he has broken the fourth wall in his human state of awareness.

I should point out, though, that Jack isn’t so much wanting to make exciting pictures for some potential audience.


He does this for his own entertainment.

Jack knows that as soon as I take an up-close picture of him, I will reward him by showing him the picture on the small screen on my camera. He gets to see the artwork.

I can imagine he is somewhat fascinated by the fact he is able to fit in that little box; the camera screen. And Elmo gets to travel with him.

It somehow reminds me of on the 1971 classic movie Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, when Mike Teevee gets shrunken into Wonkavision.

Fortunately, Jack doesn’t remain only a few inches tall when it’s all done.

Needless to say, when I was Jack’s age back in September 1982 eating my Cookie Crisp cereal with a banana in hand, there was no such thing as instant gratification when it came to taking pictures.

Even by the time I got to Junior High, a disposable camera was still only as instant as things really got.

Of course, Polaroids existed but my parents never got one because they said the quality of the pictures looked too cheap.

The real irony is that now people use Instagram to help make their pictures purposely look like Polaroids; instantly.

So if you’re having trouble getting your toddler to smile for the camera, try the instant reward system of showing your kid their picture from two seconds ago.

Be warned though; a common side effect may include a tad too much enthusiasm , as seen in the picture of Jack eating his French toast.


Add a Comment

They Grow Up So Fast: Instagramming Life

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

A year and a half.

Yes, it’s a parenting cliche. But it’s so true and therefore I must confront it:

“They grow up so fast.”

We live in the age of Instagramming. Granted, I’m not actually cool enough to have a smart phone to share a vintage photo version of what my kid just did any given moment of his waking hours.

But I see Instagrams all the time on Facebook. Some being unintentionally ironic and uncreative- like a picture of a Starbucks cup. Others, however, are photos of something a bit more relevant and important in life.

Like our kids.

And I think that’s a pretty symbolic concept. Prepare for me to get deep here.

If you’re like me, you spend the majority of your time doing the things you don’t want to, like driving to and from work, being at work, cleaning dishes, etc.

A very small percentage of my life is actually spent doing what I really want to do; which is spending time with my wife and son.

So I constantly carry my camera around in an effort to capture every warm, fuzzy moment I can. Because as I’ve written, these are the longest years and the shortest days of my life; being a parent, that is.

It’s my attempt to magnify the best parts of my life and be able to share them with everyone who cares.

Consider this: We are constantly traveling through time and space.

My best Internet research tells me that since the Earth is always spinning, we are constantly moving at 1,040 miles per hour. (Correct me if I’m wrong on that.)

Good thing for gravity.

We are forced to travel forward into time while simultaneously stuck in physical locations we don’t necessarily want to be and participating in events we’d rather not.

There is no such thing as the present. Once we think, “this is now,” it’s no longer now. It’s back then.

So anytime we can make a positive memory into one that is eternal, indestructible, and virtually omnipresent, why wouldn’t we?

So why is Instagram so cool? It automatically “retro-izes”  events that just happened, dressing them up like a Dharma Initiative Polaroid in order to direct-deposit the memory into the classic “good times” folder in our brains.

That’s basically what deja vu is- when our brains mistakenly file a current memory as a classic one.

Now back to the beginning: “They grow up so fast.”

We can’t stop it. We can barely detect the tiny changes in our children that happen overnight. We want to hold on to “this version” of our kids forever.

The next best thing we have to pressing the pause button on their current cuteness is to take a picture and therefore speak a thousand words.

That is how we travel back in time to places we’d rather be.


Add a Comment