Monday, November 17, 2008

What light through yon science museum breaks ...

peg light, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

*Seriously. We didn't do it. This time it wasn't us.*

Since she was about 19 or 20 months old or so, Annabel has been pretty consistent in holding her hand in front of her face, only the slitty eyes of disapproval staring me down, whenever I aim my camera at her in public. She's good at showing disapproval.

It took some self restraint, and some slitty eyes from her father, to put the camera away during those times.

Mostly I just changed my approach. I started shooting from the hip, and wishing upon the stars that something would come out, and that it would be worth saving.

It seems (and the last thing I want to seem is cynical) that among my friends I am the parent who is most wanted at parties -- despite the fact that I largely ignore my children's antics -- because I sometimes take half-way decent pictures.

It always astounds me when I level my lens at some other child and they instantly smile. Sometimes they even seem relaxed and joyful. Something that photography can be when it is rare and you are young.

Of course not every child feels that way. Some make it their goal in life to be invisible. Some pay no mind at all. To them, I am invisible. That works, too.

But it was a particular joy to ask my daughter, as she was playing, to just "stay there a minute longer so I can get another shot," and have her comply. It was a risky question. She has friends waiting. They want to see more things.

"Awe, mom. She's always taking pictures of me," she says. And yet, she waits and manages looks cheerful -- happy, even.

It was the first time I've detected a little pride creep in between the words of irritation.

I really hope it's not the last time.

** oh and just in case you weren't aware (INSERT SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION HERE...) I'm doing half a column with our city editor. It's a point/counterpoint kind of a thing. I know you'll side with me even if you don't.


Whirlwind said...

My friends are the same way - oh we don't have our camera, can you just snap some pictures. At the preK Halloween party, I had no fewer then 4 parents ask if I could take pictures and send them to them.

toyfoto said...

I really don't mind, though. Sometimes it's nice to just crouch on the floor and look at the kids play. It's oddly relaxing for me. I'd do it anyway.

Bill said...

I love the peg light photo! It kind of reminds me of the scene in the movie 2001 where they're disconnecting HAL (or in 2010 where they're reconnecting him).

That's a compliment, by the way. I'm a dork. :(

Madame Editor said...

Sio, I, too, love the peg light photo. You do beautiful work and Annabel is such a cutie!

melanie said...

That photo is amazing - what a treasure to have such a great photos (and to be able to take them).