May 10, 2009
Secret Mother's Day Project
For the past few years, I’ve taken photos everyday. This habit seems to please some of my blog readers and flickr friends – who, really, just encourage such behavior – but it often drives the people I live with crazy. The typical response of a teenage boy to a mother and a camera is NOT a cooperative smile. (Actually, the typical response of a teenage boy to his mother and ANYTHING is rarely a cooperative smile.) My husband hates how often I’ll stop to take photos when we’re on a romantic walk. He’ll turn to kiss me and see that I’ve suddenly run down to the water to take a picture. He has been known to ask wistfully, as we leave for a walk, “Any chance you might leave the camera home?”
But the little neighbor kids have always been happy to accompany me to the railroad tracks or into the woods while I take photos. They move at the same pace as me, taking their time, stopping to look at things and explore. “You can bring your camera,” Little Biker Boy will always say to me when he’s trying to get me to do something fun. He knows the presence of the camera means I’ll meander about and lose track of time. The result is that I have hundreds of pictures of Ponytail and Little Biker Boy, all taken in natural light.
So last week, we chose the best 100 photos of Ponytail and Little Biker Boy, and had them printed out. Then we put them in an album for them to give to their Mom for Mother’s Day. She doesn’t have many photos of Little Biker Boy – he was missing for several years and she just got him back last fall – so I knew she would be happy to get the pictures. For that matter, since she doesn’t have a camera, she doesn’t have many photos of Ponytail either.
The two kids had fun looking at the photos and re-arranging them. Little Biker Boy kept noticing details that I would have paid no attention to: “See, I have my old sneakers on in the one!” and Ponytail liked best the photos in which she is being completely silly. Because most of the portraits were taken in late afternoon light, which is when I usually spend time with the kids, they came out great. And it felt good to give the photos to the person who would appreciate them the most.
Posted by jo(e)