*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.