On the first day of the New Year, while my hard-working husband was on the roof shovelling off the 45 centimetres that fell in the days prior, I was inside, still warm in my jammies, and opted instead to take pictures of our kids. (As if helping him was an option. Me? Roof?! SNOW??! Bwaaaahahahahahaaaa...)
I'm not a great photographer - and by that I mean, I'm not skilled with all the inner and outer workings of a camera - I just point it at the thing at I want to capture, and hope for the best. I've found I hate the images I shoot whenever I use a flash, so, I just run to the window during sunnier points during the day, and use the natural light. The pictures turn out much better this way.
Downside #427 of the Big, Bad Winter is often cloudy, overcast skies. My mother complains that I don't take enough photos of the growing kids, and my sister frequently leaves me phone messages, calling me a babyhog... (I'm not hoarding them! I swear!!) But winter is tough going for spontaneous pic-snapping. Sometimes days and days go by with nary a sunny break during the day. (Sometimes it seems like weeks. *sobs*) Or at least, the good photo-making light is gone by the time they're both home from school. So. Weekends it is, then!!
The best spot in our house for this is in the bay window of our bedroom. This is also the reason that most of the pics I have of the kids are of them romping around in our bed. But, this suits me just fine. They play in there frequently, and I'll usually just run for the camera when it happens.
And I just let them play...
I don't even mind the blurry ones, since that's just as they appeared to me then...
... as one big blur...
They jump and they tumble and they wrestle. And sometimes someone gets bonked in the head...
"Go help your brother..."
I never ask them to smile, and I never put them into poses. I don't retouch any of the images either, save for removing the odd coloured pinprick spots, thanks to my damaged lens - but that's it. I don't make cheeks rosier or crop out any weirdness. All this weirdness is ours, thanks. Madame had a bruise on her lip from a New Year's Eve dance-party move that ended... badly. I wouldn't photoshop that out... it's how she was that day.
And though I really don't mind when some of the images are blurry, once in a while I ask them to stop. "Freeze," I'll say, and they slow right down, And I just hope I get a few that have less blurred lines.
I click away, stopping from time to time to dump them into the computer when the card is full (I really should put a larger memory card in this thing) and I resume shooting their shenanigans when I return from the kitchen.
On one said return, they were in a nearly identical position as they were in this pic I snapped of them in May of 2010, when he was six, and she was just two. It's one of my all-time favourite photographs of them, and I have it framed, hanging in the kitchen.
I couldn't believe my eyes. I said, "Freeze, please."
It was uncanny. I said, "Hold it," but of course, then they started to laugh...
...and then it was over...
I remember all the soundbites of their giggles and their silliness, so when I look back on the groups of photos, I remember the whole affair. I love that I get to keep that part in my head. It's so much fun when we play like this.
I need to take more pictures of them regularly. They do change so freaking fast... their limbs, and their hair... though sometimes the changes don't appear to me as readily. I see them every day, after all.
I hope everyone's brand new year is starting out on a shiny note!