Thursday, March 6th, 2014
3 months, 3 months.
Something I’m not good at is remembering to take videos of you.
However, I probably make up for it in the number of pictures I take of you each week.
Not only do I feel responsible to archive your life in letters, but I also feel the same way about the pictures I take to accompany those letters.
I have a big flashdrive which contains the story of your life, in pictures, going all the way back to the day you were born in November 2010.
While there are several thousands of pictures stored in that flashdrive, it doesn’t mean they are all good ones.
I’m not claiming to be a great photographer, but I do attempt to be decent. By now, I should consider myself an advanced amateur.
Hmm… maybe I should design a cool logo for all the pictures I take of you now, like I did for our couplies…
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot the hard way.
Lighting is a big part of it. I realize that I take a lot of indoor photos of you; many of which are hazy because of the lighting in our house.
Living in a townhouse means we only have light coming in from the front and back of the house; not the sides. So I try to take as many pictures of you as I can outdoors because the light is natural and obviously better.
However, I take pictures of you as life happens, which may or may not be in the best natural lighting.
Throughout these past 3 years and 3 months of your life, I have sort of taught myself some tricks.
I wish I would have had a “cheat sheet” when I first started taking pictures of you. I do now, though… it’s at the bottom of this letter, courtesy of Obaby.
For example, I know the importance reducing “busyness” in pictures of you, by taking pictures closer if there’s a chance that the background will distract from you.
And I know not to use the zoom option, as it degrades the quality.
I’m far from a good photographer of you, but I am aiming for decent. Compared to when I first started this over 3 years ago, at least… I feel like I’ve met my goal: At best, I am an advanced amateur.
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Sunday, June 24th, 2012
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.
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