26/52 – Composition
I have three kids, not one. You might miss that because I photograph and write very little about the big kids.
In part, it’s because their stories are theirs to tell, and in part, because they don’t really make good photographic fodder. My blog isn’t one that people who know me, or my kids, in real life are likely to stumble upon (and intentionally so), which renders my first rationale somewhat moot.
As I’ve delved more into photography, the teenagers more often than not stick out a hand to shield their faces from my prying lens. Or they make really silly faces. Or really cranky, angsty, moody faces. Oh, I can most certainly goad them to cooperate for posed photos on a quarterly or semi-annual basis, but they’re self-conscious and self-aware humans who don’t yet appreciate photos taken in the moment.
Creatively speaking, those are the photographs that I most want to capture. That’s where my photographic investment lies. I want to be able to catch what Bella looks like watching hours on end of YouTube videos or what Bubaloo looks like curled up on the couch jamming handfuls of trail mix into his face. I want photos of them that capture their essence and spirit at this particular age, at this exact moment in time, as the people that they are today. I don’t need nor want to take another standard plasticy mugshot.
I admire the weekly portraits of her children she posts over on Bleubird. I’d love to be that kind of mom who makes the space and takes the time to capture each child each and every week.
When the theme for this week’s project 52 came up, I knew that there was no better chance to photograph each of my kids. That I could ask each of them to do a very special individual photoshoot, and under the ruse of perfecting my composition, I could engage them to snap some of their expressions talking about the things they love most. And, after all, I perhaps painted the wall in our dining room this colour just so I could shoot portraits like this.
There were so many good shots I managed to catch in a mere 10 minutes with each kid, in particular of Bella, that it was really hard to choose a selection of outtakes.
Bella actually surprised me. I learned that she wants me to take her photograph more often, but more in a way that she’s comfortable with (insight gleaned from (a) the phone conversation with her other Mom letting her know that she was going to do a photo shoot with me, and (b) taking over 30 minutes to find the perfect outfit and getting her hair and make up just so before I was allowed to begin snapping pictures).