Me and my camera, then and now

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I hope everyone out there enjoyed Birth Story Week! It’s one of those fun stories that nearly all moms like to share, especially with pregnant women (in the most horrifying detail possible, for whatever reason). Anyways, we hope it gave our readers an idea of the wide range of experiences out there. Everyone has their own story, a little different from all the others.

In so much as it’s a holiday, I pretty much forgot that it is indeed Monday and my day to post! Doh! I thought I might expand a little on the topic I touched on over at my personal blog today: photos.

I was always a photo nut, from my first plastic Fisher-Price camera with a little manual push/slide to advance the film and the flash cartridges I had to buy separately. This is not to say I’m any great photographer, and I’ve only taken one photography class in my entire life. But still, I really enjoy it. Especially now, in the digital age, when I can snap 100 pictures of the same thing and not worry about wasting film. And while I am, strictly speaking, taking a number of photos that is way above and beyond anything I’ve ever done before, I find I’m actually much worse at documenting “events.”

I never used to be able to pass up taking pictures at a party. I always had my camera in my purse, and whether it was a barbeque or a sorority formal, I had pictures. Maybe I didn’t document every second of the party, but there was some photographic record that it happened. I suppose that started to change a little in the post-college days, but still, I have some very highly-documented weddings in my iPhoto Library. Heck, my cousin Amanda’s wedding about a year and a half ago? 115 shots. Sure, plenty are of the same thing, which is an important technique in terms of getting a good shot, and is more practical with a digital camera than it was with film. But still, well-documented. Pictures of the whole family, pictures of the ceremony, pictures of the “kung-fu fighting.” (Don’t ask, my family is crazy.)

Fast-forward a few months, and I was pregnant. I was huge, uncomfortable, swollen. I’ve always struggled with my weight, so the extra pregnancy flab and swollen face and extremities did not make me eager to have my picture taken. I look back and regret it, but I have pictures of my pregnant self on literally only four different days. Less than 10 total pictures. Not a single one from the shower my friends threw for me, when they came up from Washington, DC and had a “Danger and Peril”-themed shower and one of them was also pregnant with her second child. Did I take advantage of that photo-op, the two pregnant ladies? Nope. Did I have M take a picture right before the babies were born? Nope.

My children, on the other hand, are frighteningly well-documented. In less than 10 months, I’ve taken nearly 2500 shots of my kids. Again, things made possible by digital photography. That does include things like their monthly birthday chair pictures. For instance, their 9-month photo session was no fewer than 65 frames in under 15 minutes. It includes plenty of “outtakes,” but means I’m pretty likely to get some really good ones to send to the family. So if you want to know what my kids looked like on seemingly any day in the last 9 months, I’ve probably got a picture within a 5-day range of that.

If, however, you ask me in a few years who was at my Memorial Day barbeque yesterday? I really couldn’t look at the pictures and tell you. Courtesy of my sister-in-law, to whom I handed my camera, there are plenty of super-cute pictures of my kids. And, um, no one else (I think that’s my friend Ryan in the background, but I wouldn’t swear to it, and am unlikely to remember, three years from now, that he wore a baseball hat that day). Gone are the days when I’d tell people to get close to one another so I could take a picture. No one is quite as into that anymore. Plus, I really do have my hands more full than I used to. Watching the babies, cooking the food, making sure everyone is having a good time… and, having a good time, myself. No time, apparently, to take pictures of my friends having a good time, my sister-in-law’s boyfriend on our swingset, my friend’s kids chasing the dog. It’s too bad, and something I keep meaning to do better. Each time I have a playdate, each time I have a barbeque, we swear we’ll take more pictures of all of us actually “doing” something. And each time, we take one or two and then forget. There are worse things than enjoying each other’s company and spending time with your kids, of course. I just wish, sometimes, that I had some pictures to say that I did something other than take photos of my kids (and no one else) in my backyard or my living room.

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7 thoughts on “Me and my camera, then and now”

  1. just another thought on the picture front…i realized we are not taking pictures of ourselves with the boys. it is like they exist in a land of babies without pictured parents. we have started to resolve that issue lately and i have to say, it is nice to see myself on the other side of the camera.

  2. I have one of Daniel & Winnie—does that count as other “people”?

    I think we are all guilty of this. I sometimes have lots of photso of events, but my babies are featured—with other people–in them. So, at my cousin’s wedding, it’s my brother & Abigail, my brother and Danny, etc….of course, people coming to my house do the same thing with their cameras!

  3. Husband and I laugh about the number of “orphan” Christmas photo cards we get. Put yourself in there – we want to see our friends, not just their cute kids.

  4. The first year, I found the majority of my pictures were just pictures of the boys. It’s easy that way – they don’t move too fast. This past year, I’ve found the majority of my pics are pictures of the boys with a person or with something. The person is to hold them in place. ha ha!

  5. Quite right, it does seem like my kids live in a largely adult-less world! And there are so few pictures of me and M with the kids, you’d probably have a hard time guessing who their parents are just by looking at the pictures. OK, I guess the delivery room pics are a big hint, but you know what I mean.

    Oh, and to Mommy, Esq, I hear you on the holiday cards! I think it’s odd to just get ones with only the kids in them. This past year, it was all five of us: me, M, the kids, and the dog. :-)

  6. I was just saying this to my husband yesterday! We were at a Memorial Day celebration and I actually took a photo of the maypole dancing, not just my children watching it (2 shots of the former about 20 of the latter). Because before kids, I took pictures of what we were seeing, and for the past 20 months, only pictures of them doing or watching. And some day I do want to be able to show them, yes, this is what you were looking at!

  7. That is so funny…about not having pics of you when you were prego. ME TOO! I have one of me in my hospital gown, one of me at some party with my hubby in DA, a small video of me before i left for the hospital and that’s pretty much it. I feel guilty…my girl friend(being the organizational freak she is…has one pic of herself EVERY week). I did that with my first…took one pic of myself in undies and bra with my first…once a month. With the twins i think i was just soo big i was embarassed and didn’t want to remember it! Don’t feel bad…your not alone! :) Also, NOW i’m a pic freak too. I take soo many pics of my kidos, it’s great! I know i’ll have tons of memories…i just feel bad that i don’t have more from my pregnancy with the twins!

    Have a great week!

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