Thursday, September 10, 2015

the perfect pose

My kids don't know how to pose for photos. Once in a blue moon I get a looking into the lens, smile nice for grandma, sitting still like the people who come with the picture frame kind of shot. The fact is, they haven't been trained to pose.  I have seen and heard people bribe, cajole, order, beg, and even threaten their kids to pose for the camera. What kind of message are we sending kids when we tell them that they aren't good enough for a photo unless they act or look a certain way?

I take LOADS of photos of my kids. Too many one might rightly say. But I always try to disappear when I am taking pictures. The camera is just part of my hand, bionic shutter mom. When I take pictures of the kids I don't stop what's happening to get the shot. I keep talking. I allow them to keep moving and laughing and running and chatting. Or I get completely out of the way and hang back and just watch and capture.

Posing is mostly static and phony and doesn't really tell you much about who this soul is that you're trying to portray, especially when it comes to kids.

Children have so much magic in their nature that there's no need to force them to strike a pose in a dull and conventional way. Just stop and study their movement and the images will come. The way their arms express everything they say, the way they leap and skip everywhere they go, they way their wee faces reflect their inner self so truthfully.

It's the tilt of the head, the wrinkly of the nose, the concentration on a little face, the easy way they squat down anywhere. Pure, purposeful, beautiful little people just doing their thing. When I look back on photos of their childhood, that's what I want to see. I don't need to see a perfect smile, or adoring siblings, or coiffed hair, or clean fingernails (have yet to see those around here). I'd rather capture a moment and share a glimpse into a real person. Because as I tell my kids all the time, you're perfect just the way you are.

(This is how Zach hangs out often these days. Laying still. Contemplating. Or just shutting out the noise of his little sister. Not a pose with dimples and sparkling eyes, but very telling of where he is in this tween stage of life.)

(I could tell her not to swim in her clothes. Or I could just sit up the beach a little and watch. Even without a camera, the watching is so sweet. Pure joy, Exploring and discovering with every sense, every cell. This is what being 4 is all about.)

(More swimming in her clothes. Plus a friend who we have known since she was a baby. Seeing them together, little and big. Each stance so telling of who they are in that moment. Little is care free, uninhibited, silly. Big is changing, growing, hand on hip not sure what to make of the little crazy one, caught between big and little and not sure which way to go.)

(Another big and little moment. 4 year old little sisters running up and down the steps. 10 year old big siblings sit and chat.)

(Why stop a beautiful contemplative moment like the ones above for a posed smile? There is so much beauty in the quiet pauses.)

(None of these kids are looking at the camera and posing, and that's why I love it.)

(Looking right at the camera, but just happened to turn my way. Regal, tiny, real.)

(The look on her face, the way he's looking out at the water while holding her tight. It's a moment for sure. Stormy rough passage, seasick little girl, protective yet worried big brother.)

(Story of friends. And childhood. And the joy of a beautiful day. A pose can't give you that.)

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