Here’s the rub with family photography… precisely the time you feel like you need to put down your camera and enjoy the moment or take a trip without worrying about taking photos is exactly the time that you’re going to miss great moments. I read articles from time to time aimed at pros like me who are working as photographers and also parents and it usually goes something like this… if I take my “real” cameras then it makes me take making images too seriously and it’s overkill for my family and will ruin my enjoyment of our… vacation, activity etc. Well I think this is terrible advice and thinking.
The fact of the matter is that if you believe in the power and legacy of family photography and making photos is part of who you are then having a camera with you isn’t going to ruin anything it’s a part of your life. Here’s the what I think the problem really is:
1. If your gear is too big and cumbersome, that is a real problem nobody wants to lug that around while also caring for kids – so find something that you love that’s not going to do that: hint *look into the Olympus system*
2 You have to be fast. No one minds taking 3 seconds to take a photo, your spouse or your kids won’t mind BTS images made of them while their having fun… that the world has enough images of kids in t-shirts. The fact is that if you are actively and taking photos you’re going to remember the day, the light the details, the expressions better than if you didn’t have your camera. Great moments will not only be captured but also engrained in your mind.
This Father’s day… I implore you to take up your camera, let it blend into your life and don’t stop making images. Capture your father, husband etc. in action, teaching, caring or working, show them in a way that tells a story and isn’t just what they look like. Bonus if it something near and dear to your family story. Get beyond smiling heads, do it stealth or at least casually so that no one as to stop.