Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On taking pictures of your child: or being borderline obsessed

I've always loved taking pictures. I never got into photography the way I've always wanted to, but that hasn't stopped me from taking a million pictures, all of the time. It's easier now a days to snap a quick photo (or, in my case, 5 or 6 of the same.exact.pose) because hey, you can always go back and delete the ones you don't like! Well now that I have a darling little boy, I take a LOT of pictures. I think every new parent will agree, there is nothing better than your baby smiling, or laughing, or eating, or just sitting there. So we snap pictures. Of everything. The problem that I have is when I go to look at these pictures to print them out, I can't bear to delete any of them! Even the ones that didn't turn out so great.

So M is now almost 17 months old and I have a cd burned for every month of pictures. I have filled up two photo albums. I have made one scrapbook and one baby book for him. Don't even get me started on the videos I've taken. It's almost overwhelming to go back and sort through everything, to make sure everything is backed up and printed out and dated on the back. It's a bit of an obsession.

So much so that often times I forget to really be in the moment. I don't fully trust my memory to remember all of these firsts and milestones, so I'm constantly trying to snap pictures of it all. Desperate to have these tangible memories. I know one day I will be happy I took a million pictures. I know that one day when my baby is all grown up, he will enjoy looking back on these photos, his chubby little naked baby butt in the tub, or his parents when they were young and wrinkle-less. But it's a hard line to draw... to remember to really be present in the here and now, and step away from the obsession of trying to get that perfect picture.

I was reminded of this last week at the pumpkin patch, desperate to get a photo of M and I in front of the same huge pumpkin that we did last year. But I guess I must have forgotten that last year he was four months old, and unable to squirm out of my arms....because before I knew it, I was that crazy mom trying to wrangle her toddler in her arms and yelling "just take the pic! hurry!". And in that moment it finally hit's just a picture. Why am I stressing so much over a damn picture? I should be enjoying this time and letting my crazy child run free through the pumpkins instead of forcing him to sit still long enough to snap a picture (which he is unable to do 99% of the time).

 Please ignore my baby belly poking out of the bottom of my shirt, I'm still trying to squeeze into my regular clothes, ooof.

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