I’ve always loved photography. I’ve loved it from the moment I first laid eyes on a picture my best friend took of her then one year old son in the bath. It’s a black and white, close up shot of her son’s face as he sits in the bath with a shampoo mohawk. His eyes are downcast and you get an eyeful of his long, dark lashes and full baby cheeks. He’s gorgeous. The image is gorgeous. And, I have my own framed copy hanging in my house which I stop to look at from time to time. Sixteen years later and time has yet to water down the effects that picture has on me. In addition to sparking my love of photography, that picture also taught me that beautiful images are obtainable for self taught amateurs.
About a decade later and I finally bought my first DSLR. And, it sat there, barely used for almost two years. I thought I had issues with motivation. Turns out it was less about motivation and more about lack of subject matter. I’d take my camera out and take pictures of animals or architecture because that’s what was readily available as practice material. It was boring and I was not enthusiastic about what I was shooting. I hated almost all the pictures I took.
My real interest was with people. But, I lacked the courage to invade the privacy of random people and sneak their picture or ask friends or family to pose for me so that I could practice.
Then, along came my son. I finally have a subject I can photograph night and day if I want. I spend a lot of time taking his picture. As most parents do, I think my son is stunning. I’m obsessed with every tiny detail of his face and I want to burn his image into my brain. Which, I don’t think is actually a thing. So, I obsessively take his picture instead.
After I get done photographing him, I sit down and go through all the images, which is usually a lot. Almost instantly I pick out a handful of favorites and tag those for easy retrieval. The rest sit there, in the picture graveyard that is my external hard drive.
But, last night I decided to go through ALL the pictures of my son. Halfway through I started to realize that some of the pictures that I had so quickly dismissed before were sort of jumping out at me. I wasn’t sure why. I started playing with one of the pictures and ended up editing it in black and white. That’s when it dawned on me; these photos reminded me of my nephew’s picture. And, once it dawned on me, I started seeing the theme more and more. So, I decided to put together a gallery composed of those photographs. I’ve mixed in a few of my all time favorites as well, because they fit the theme.
I’ll make sure to revisit my hard drive from time to time. Maybe there is another group of pictures just waiting to show themselves like these did.
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