Thursday, October 28, 2010

Photo Documentation

I was looking through Mr. F.’s photos the other day on the computer, and I noticed that there were a lot of photos from his “previous life” but not so many of the two (and now three) of us.  There was Christmas ’03 through Christmas ’06 but not any Christmas ’08 and Christmas ’09 (our first two Christmases together).  This made me a little sad. There were also pictures of Williamsburg, but not of the time we went.  Those pictures contained photos of She Who Must Not Be Named.  Let me state upfront that this is not going to be a du Maurier-esque post about how I feel threatened and judged by a woman who is no longer around.  (Although perhaps that would be the more interesting read). I wasn’t bothered by the pictures themselves.  Rather, I was bothered by the lack of documentation of two really wonderful years.  I guess you could argue that the lack of photographs are telling; we were too busy and happy to bother with a camera.  But still.....

I really like looking at photographs.  I like the memories they help recall.  However, I always feel a little bit disingenuous when I spend the time taking pictures rather than really living in the moment.  For example, I think I enjoy Christmas and the opening of presents among family members when I am not worrying about getting the perfect shot that future generations will enjoy.  I am just really conflicted in my desire for pictures.  I want there to be documentation, but I do not want to document it.  What I would really like is to have a professional photographer around 24/7 to capture all of our family moments. 

Then the photographs themselves can be misleading. 

“Oh look, here is Finn in a pumpkin patch.  What a wonderful Fall moment.  How fun it must have been to go to a farm and see the pumpkins and the animals.”

Pumpkin Posing

The reality was that we went to get a specific picture and that Finn couldn’t have cared less about the whole excursion. 

“Animals?  Whatever.  What is this big, orange thing between my legs?  Why am I on the ground?  Why aren’t you feeding me woman and putting me down for a nap?”

Why am I here?

So what do you guys think?  Do you try to document events in your life?  Do you feel that taking pictures inhibits you from enjoying the moment? 


Angela said...

I definitely try to take pictures of events in life! Pictures are the easiest and funnest way for me to hold on to memories...memories that might otherwise just slip into the past without something to bring them back. Love the pictures of Finn in the pumpkin patch!

Emily said...

I think it's no secret that I take a lot of pictures of everything. This is the only way I can remember things. I've started making my blogs into books at the end of each year & my kids love it. My 5 yr old will pull out the books all the time & ask me questions about when she was younger & what the pictures are about. If I didn't have the pics I wouldn't be able to remember anything so I'm all for taking a lot of pics - you will know when the balance isn't right between enjoying & forced picture taking.

Jaimee said...

Well, you know me... I LOVE me some photography! While I totally understand about the whole "living in the moment instead of taking pictures" idea, for me, part of experiencing the moment is also capturing it to re-experience later. I find myself ALWAYS regretting not getting a few shots of special excursions. I am not one for getting a picture of every present opened or anything like that. I like a few posed pictures and then mostly pictures and videos of milestones and cuteness. I absolutely love going back and reliving Avalon's firsts. If you take enough pictures your pictures site can become like a photo journal. When friends and family ask what you've been up to, you can refer them to your photostream and it's like watching your life. This is good for those of us that live away from family. I guess I also have a sore spot revolving around pictures of my own babyhood and childhood because my parents took an awful lot of pictures of my sister and very, very few of me. I wish I had more and I vowed not to do that to my kids! :)


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