As a dad I love to look back at photos I took of my children. I enjoy seeing both my children and skills as a photographer grow with time. One thing I have been very grateful for is how my kids have tolerated my sometimes intrusive camera. I am not a fan of the staged photograph preferring to catch my kids ignoring the camera. I spent so many years snapping away gently asking them not to hide their faces, not to react to me at all that eventually they listened. They no longer mug for the camera, they just continue about their business, letting me get the shots that they enjoy flipping through on the annual family calender.
One down side to having a camera in your hands so often is that I am commonly the one asked to snap the family portrait. That is too much responsibility for me. I am always disappointed with the result, not happy with the light or angle or staging, never pleased. I always feel rushed, inadequate and unprepared. I don’t like the spotlight and holding the camera with everyone looking into the lens makes me uncomfortable.
I just received an email from family we visited in December. They sent a pair of the shots I took the last time they handed me the camera. We had just spent the last several days visiting their wonderful new home and were getting everyone into the car to head back to Seattle. They handed me their camera and asked for a quick shot of the cousins together and then one of their family.
Not happy with the camera glare, I should have stepped a little closer to get out of the direct sunlight. I don’t have the skills or knowledge to make that kind of automatic adjustment. I could have been better positioned, I could have taken a few more just to be safe but I wanted out of the spotlight quickly.
I guess not everything is passed down from father to son.