I have never been very good at taking pictures. I look at those “other” Mommy bloggers and I see their gorgeous pictures taken with their expensive cameras, and I think that I must need a $1,000 camera so that I can take good pictures too. They apologize for their iPhone photos-that’s as good a camera as I’ve got. Except for my mom. My mom has one of those expensive cameras-she even has an expensive, expensive camera. When she’s around, I forget to even pick up the iPhone to take inferior pictures. Why is this bothering me?
Jordyn’s 10th birthday party was last Saturday. One of the things I wanted to do for her was to put together a slideshow of her life. So, I started searching through my computer’s photographs and gradually it became clear that I don’t take pictures of my children. When we were living with my mom or very close to my mom, I could see many pictures taken of my precious firstborn. But, there were very few pictures that were taken from my old point-and-shoot, or even my iPhone once I had it. In fact, there were entire holes in my child’s life (such as year 5) where I had only a handful (literally, like 10) of photographs from the entire year! Why????
I have been following this mom whose daughter, Jennifer, passed away from cancer at the ripe ol’ age of 6, and the grief she exposes is truly heart-wrenching. Isn’t that every parent’s worst nightmare? That a beast will come in and steal your child from your arms and leave you powerless to prevent it from happening? Well, she posts pictures, lots of pictures of her forever 6 year old and her other three children. Most of the pictures are your classic photograph, with smiling faces, looking at the camera, in focus types of things. But there are some, and it’s these ones that haunt me, that are less impressive. They are out of focus, or the clothes aren’t on, or she’s not looking at the camera. The “bad” photographs. They are precious to her. I’ve been deleting them for years. Even worse, knowing that I can’t compose a “good” photograph because the floor is messy or my kids are (still) undressed, I don’t even pick up the camera (or phone). And once that moment is gone, its gone forever.
So, I’m going to try to take more of these “candid” photos, in the hopes that when it comes time to put together Bekah’s slideshow, I have ample material to choose from, for every year of her life.
Even if the floor is dirty.
Even if the kids aren’t dressed.
Because that is a moment from their life, and that makes it extremely valuable to me.