Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let's Be Candid

I’ll admit it: We take a ton of pictures of Ryan. Sometimes we take them while he’s doing something interesting, sometimes we set him up and try to get him to look at the camera, but no matter what we do, they’re always “candid” photos. He has no concept of a camera, so he’ll never smile patiently while waiting for the shutter to click, as adults do. If he’s smiling, he’s smiling, and if he’s not, he’s not, and there’s not much that anyone can do about it. But the wonderful thing about that fact is that each and every picture of him catches a genuine, honest, unguarded moment.

One of my favorite examples of candid photos is a strip of photos we took in a photo booth at Herb’s work’s 50th anniversary party. You sit in the booth and press a button, and the automated camera counts down and takes a photo, then counts down again and takes another, then another and another. The result may not be flattering, but it is indeed a snapshot of the subjects in the truest sense.

You can see Ryan progress from “What’s going on?” to “Who’s that in the monitor?” to “Ooh, there are lights up there!” to “OK, I’m done now [escape squirm].”. It absolutely captures the minutes we spent in the booth.

I love how the camera captures his true personality. It isn’t always smiles and paying attention. It’s often squirming, or distracted, or even pouty or crying. Sometimes it’s delight, sometimes it’s puzzlement, sometimes it’s curiosity. Sometimes it’s frustration, sometimes it’s anger, sometimes it’s exhaustion. And as he grows up and learns to mask those emotions – especially in front of the camera – we’ll miss seeing those candid moments. So I’m glad we’re capturing them all: the good, the bad, and the ugly.







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