Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Photo remorse

I like taking photos, I do. I feel like I lack any real knowledge or skill that would make my photos turn out well more consistently. Instead, my strategy is just to take a lot of photos, and then hope that I didn't totally mess up all of them. I'm not really into post-processing, so I just try to do what I can with existing light conditions and stuff. And most of the time (hate to admit this), but I just shoot on that 'P' setting which does everything for you. So essentially I'm a hack, and that is mostly fine with me.

The thing that isn't fine with me is that I'm not necessarily all that good about getting the camera out to take photos. Especially when there are people around. And, I pretty much think that most photos need to be of people, otherwise they just aren't that interesting. I guess I take lots of non-people photos too, but there are just so many photos of so many things, people pictures usually stand out to me. They capture so much history.

Sometimes I suffer from photo remorse. Pretty much any time I come back from a trip somewhere, I wish that I had taken more photos, especially of people. This can get pretty bad. I remember feeling sick to my stomach coming back from Rocky Mountain National Park that I didn't take a particular picture of Heiko with the Rocky Mountain background. There will be other opportunities, kind of. Except not really, right? H changes so much all the time, and this fact has made this photo remorse affliction worse for me.

The thing is that I don't want to be one of those people who makes the waiter take cheesy group pictures before eating at a restaurant, but on the other hand looking back at those sorts of photos can be so interesting ("look at your hair!"). Maybe it is better to take cheesy posed pictures than considered art shots of boring stuff like moss. So I saw some moss in 2012, who gives a fuck? I also had a five month old baby, and I took him to Rocky Mountain National Park. And I didn't take the photo that I wanted. The visual record of David, Patrick, Heiko and I eating sandwiches before a jaw-dropping mountain vista is only up here (I'm pointing to my head).

Of course the reason I mention this is that I didn't take enough any photos of my extended family on this most recent trip. The vision of my beautiful niece and animated nephews is just part of that precarious mental record. The smiles and expressions of everyone reacting to Heiko in his smiley baby-ness, it is just a memory now. Sigh.

Maybe this is good. There are so so so many photos, especially these days with cameras in phones, and social media and so on. The world is saturated with images. I just feel that with Heiko changing so much every day, I am scrambling to hold on to the memory of one day to the next. I want to remember things, and yet I can't capture it all. And, I also want to live it, and not to stress out about each experience because I didn't "get it" in a more permanent way. Ah, it is bittersweet, isn't it? Well there is a lump in my throat and ohbijou isn't helping (can you say homesick?), I better cut this off here since it has clearly verged into emotional rant territory. Here is a picture of some moss.


  1. Elissa

    Liam and I went the first 2 months of Aleen's life with my camera on a low quality image setting (good for recording documents, which is what my camera mostly got used for before she was born). So most of our pictures of her first couple of months are blurry, or only look good in a small format. How's that for photo remorse?

    After many months of beating ourselves up about this (and finally getting a new camera), I realized that part of what was going is just the bittersweetness of having a baby. Every day they do something new, and every day you lose something they used to do. But I am happy to report, as a mom of a toddler, it only gets better! Yes they are only a baby for a short, short time, but then they start becoming the person they're going to be, which is even more fascinating and wonderful than babyhood was. There will be a day I'm sure, when I long to hold Aleen-the-baby in my arms again, but even then, I think its the stories you tell each other that matter more.


    1. This is such a sweet and thoughtful comment, thanks Erin. I'm sorry to hear about the low-quality photo months, but you are completely right that the stories are the most important bit. Plus, that smooshey newborn baby face stage and the baby acne stage aren't the most visually appealing I guess. We are definitely enjoying Heiko's transformation, and I don't expect that to stop any time soon.