Life with kids is ALWAYS an adventure. And I have 3 who are only 3 years apart. (yes, we're crazy.) This is my place to capture the craziness in all it's glory, because childhood only happens once. (thank goodness!)

When you get tired of reading about my kids visit my other blog all about ME!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why flickr has ruined me

Notice there is no picture on this post? There is a good reason for that. I'm trying to wean myself from pictures. A hard thing to do for this die hard "have a picture of everything" girl. I think I took 100 pictures just the first week I had my first digital camera. (okay, it's still the ONLY digital camera I've ever had....but I'm looking to upgrade. But I digress) I have 7,636 pictures on my flickr photostream. (and that doesn't even count all the pictures of Adam's first year of life, which aren't on flickr yet because I didn't join flickr until well into his second year.) The point is, I have a TON of pictures. I LOVE pictures. I love sitting and watching when my screen saver comes on and I get to watch as all my thousands of pictures flip randomly in front of my eyes. It's like watching my kids grow up all over again. And it makes my ovaries hurt.

As of late I've really started exploring flickr more. Before I mostly just posted my pictures there, looked at pictures of other family members and then moved on. But I've been finding a lot of great photographers lately whose pictures I ADORE and I spend way too much time staring at their photostreams. I am particularly drawn to child photographers, probably because there are so many kids running around our house these days and I long to take better pictures of my kids (because I can't afford to have any of these awesome child photographers take pictures of them for me.)

So, let me tell you, there are some absolutely amazing photographers on flickr. And some absolutely amazing pictures of kids. And it encouraged me to try to take better pictures of my kids in their natural enviroment. Pictures of them just being kids, because those are my favorites on flickr. But the harder I try the more I wonder if these photographers that I stalk on flickr have their cameras surgically attached to their faces. How else could they get such great "candid" shots all the time?

Here's how things usually go down at our house. The kids start doing something really cute. I think "hum, this would make a great picture. where's the camera" I look on my dresser. it's not there. I look on the desk, also not there. I look on top of the entertainment center. not there. kitchen counter. not there. where is the camera? i'm missing the moment!!! Why can't I find the camera? Oh there it is, on the dresser. (where I looked in the first place!) By the time I come rushing back the moment is over.

So then you try to "recreate" the moment. "Hey kids, do that again. Adam, sit here. Zoey you where there. Make her laugh again. It was really cute. Do it one more time so I can get a picture." (admit, you've all tried to do it! I know you have) But they never really do it again, and if they do it's only a half attempt and then they are off to do something else. And not only did I miss the picture but I missed the moment, too. (because I was looking for the camera, remember?) Yes, in pursuit of the perfect picture I have missed out on a memery. The kids were cute while I was out of the room and it's lost forever and I didn't even see.

And so, I'm trying harder to worry less about grabbing the camera and worry more about just being in the moment and enjoying the moment, and perhaps writing about it later so I remember it later even though I don't have a picture. Because the picture in my mind can be just as cute (and probably in better focus) than the picture from my camera.

This is not to say that I'm going to stop taking pictures, because dagum, I'd addicted to those cute pictures. But I am going to stop trying to hard to take a picture of EVERYTHING.

And to prove it....we went to Discovery Gateway last week and I left the camera home, on purpose! And you know what, it was great to not have to worry about it. I think I actually enjoyed the day more without it.

And on my weekend up the Sunvalley this past weekend, didn't pull the camera out once. (of course it helped that my mom and Anne were clicking away and I knew I could just get copies of their pictures.)

So I send this out as a challenge for all you camera freaks (like me!) Go somewhere this week and leave the camera home. Try it, just once. You might like it. (or you may hate it, but at least you won't be posting super cute pictures of flickr thus making me relapse into my old shutterhappy self.)


orangemily said...

I don't think I can take you up on your challenge. I have been addicted to picture taking even before digital. Digital of course has increased my photo frenzy. I totally see your point about being in the moment, but my addiction may be too deep to let go for even a day.

Andria said...

I leave my camera home all the time (never on purpose; I'm just an airhead is all), and I always find that I'm disappointed afterwards. Which is why I want to upgrade to a camera that is small and light, so it can always be in my purse. I always wonder if my children will think that we never did anything when they were little because we don't have many pictures of them doing things.

Dana said...

I'm a photo addict. I take tons and tons of pictures.

I decided that if I needed a "carry camera" (An affordable but nice camera that is small enough to carry in my purse but not so pricey that I would die if my kids broke it.)

If the camera is charged and put where it belongs I can grab it in a sec and get a picture without missing the fun....if it's not, I don't bother. I'm getting better about keeping it charged!

HeidiPie said...

We like taking pictures, not only for our family photobooks to remember moments...but for our family not in Ohio to know us too. If it weren't for these photos (and flickr) I think those who are not in Ohio growing up with my kids would miss SO many moments. And I've got to say, those family with flickr pictures I feel like I know them a little better too. Although, I do agree though, sometimes you don't need your camera, like those times you suggested when you can't find it. Been there, done that.