I had a horrible realization the other day. As I was moving my camera from the top of one bookshelf to the top of another bookshelf I realized it felt foreign in my hands, unfamiliar. Once again I had been keeping the “nice” camera to use for special occasions. This meant it was very rarely used. I mindlessly filled up the water pitcher at the kitchen sink and looked at the flashing light on the cover signifying the need for a fresh water filter and I remembered: the last time I had taken a photo with my actual camera was the day I had put in the new water filter.
Oh dear. I am measuring moments in time by the flashing light of my Brita filter.
Obviously the only way to fix this was to grab the camera and take photos. But of what? KIDDING. My most favorite and treasured subject would surely be happy to stand still and allow me to snap away my photography dry spell.
There was some bartering that had to be done. He wanted me to photograph him eating his cereal. Sure. Fine. But for the price of TWO pieces of sour candy he agreed to stand at the end of the dining room table and be still.
The photos capture the day. Truly. I see how his eyes are still a bit blotchy from the tantrum he had before he ate his cereal. I see a bit of a petal in his hair from running around in the yard. I see his freckles starting to shine through and develop like an image on a Polaroid. I see my grandmother’s smile.
I have eleventy billion photos of W captured on my mobile phone. Many of them are amazing. But I never fully SEE him until I see him through the lens of my camera. I don’t know if it is because it wasn’t a simple snap shot, it was an agreement moment. A deal. I wasn’t clicking and capturing. I was adoring and appreciating.