Enjoy the moments as they come

August 10, 2011 by Cara Bailey
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I love photos. I can look at the same photo for an hour, scrutinizing every detail, daydreaming about what was happening in each image.

When the late Robert C. Byrd turned 92, my editor handed me several large envelopes filled with images of the man’s life and career to sort through for my front page. I was in heaven.

Therefore, it would be a no-brainer to say that I have thousands of photos of my son. I have thousands upon thousands of photos, between a couple large memory cards, a large hard drive, three computers and my iPhone. However, my biggest mommy guilt (other than only nursing to 6 months instead of the 18 month goal I had) lies in the photo department.

I have roughly 12 photos on actual paper. Photos that can be immediately put into frames or mailed to loved ones. In fact, most of my loved ones have more framed photos of my own child than I do.

All of my photos are on hard drives somewhere, where I anticipate they will crash and burn. They’re loaded on Facebook and blogs, shared through emails and texts, and yet when I’m at home I have blank walls.

As my son turns 2 this Sunday I am making it a priority to have quality prints made of his newborn shots. And his 7-month shots. And his first birthday party and 1-year shots. And Christmases and vacations. I hope to have this done before he starts Kindergarten (she says half-jokingly.)

The job is getting easier to print off photos as he gets older.

I’ve stopped taking pictures. How many photos are there from last Christmas, taken with my beautiful DSLR? None. How many photos did I take on his first birthday? Zero. A very talented friend took all we have.

When my son was born I had my camera to my face more seconds of the day than I can recall. Every waking moment was one captured by a little man inside the camera, calling the shots. However, I was growing increasingly frustrated by trying to get THE shot at every occasion. So now I grab a couple of quick frames and let my neckstrap do the heavy lifting for awhile.

I had to stop looking at my son in f-stops and shutter speeds.

I needed to start enjoying the moments in person, not through a piece of glass. And that started with putting down the camera.

What sort of parent are you? Picture-perfect or content with a mental image?

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2 Responses to “Enjoy the moments as they come”

  1. Katy BrownNo Gravatar says:

    I admit — we have hundreds and hundreds of pictures of the girls, and I can say that I’ve looked through the lens of my little Cannon camera more than my own two eyes. Not only am I in 3% of the pictures because I’m always the photographer, but I’m barely able to remember Christmas and birthdays because the Shutterfly memory book was the only thing on my mind.

    I’m glad you wrote this. I’ve thought about it a lot….with Maryn’s first day of school coming up, too.

  2. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    Agree! As an “old” mom, I’ll offer one bit of advice — no matter how much you hate it, take photos of yourself with your kids. They don’t think of you as fat/pale/thin/bad-haired… they just think of you as Mommy. And some day they will want photos of you. I am learning to do this as I look through the FEW photos I have of my camera-shy mama and wish for more.

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