I have always loved photography. Perhaps every child enjoyed firing away at those little plastic disposables back in the 80s, but I believe that is how my fun with photography started.
Then, in high school, my Dad gave me my first SLR, a Minolta. I carried that baby around with me a lot. Having just gone through some old pictures I could see that I was already directing my family where to stand or sit while we vacationed in Hawaii my senior year. That year I also took my first black and white photography class and absolutely loved developing and processing my film. It was fun to imagine that Ansel Adams did prints this way, getting his hands stinky and dirty, full with chemicals like I was. Not that I was anywhere even remotely close to this legend, but I could pretend.
For me, the best part is to lock in time a moment that makes someone feel special, beautiful, just plain real. Even better is to read one’s soul through their eyes. (I’m not trying to steal it, just see it.) That is a bit harder to do; but if I can do it, then I feel good and accomplished. The cheesy grins are not much for me. I prefer the moody love, lingering sadness, bubbling joy.
Of course, I love capturing the fleeting moments of my children’s childhoods. This isn’t easy, either, as they are not willing subjects by any means. My oldest now fancies herself a photographer, wanting to cart around my little Polaroid snapping everything she sees; yet – sigh – she still will not let me snatch any normal images of her. I think she knows just how much I want to remember her the way she is today. Tomcsi, unfortunately, has taken his cue from big sis’ so my photographs of them are really dwindling in numbers. I just keep reminding myself: quality, not quantity. And then, when they are all grown up, they will complain to me, “why don’t you have any pictures of us?!” and I will have to say I didn’t care much for the blurry, squinty-eyed, crazy-distorted-mouth images.
Now, as a mom who has been through the love, had the wedding, had newborns and is now watching her kids grow like weeds and her parents grow older, I feel even more strongly the pressing desire to remember all of these moments for many years to come. I don’t ever want to forget.