This month’s creative challenge is all about capturing the real in your family life and in this case it’s the real emotions. I’m sure most of us have lots of albums of our children (and maybe the grown ups too) looking presentable and smiling for the camera, but fewer of them caught in the moment, experiencing the highs and lows of childhood. Tears and laughter are a very big part of parenthood, but we often don’t capture them on film.
Not everybody will feel comfortable getting the camera out if their child is crying. Most of the images I have like this are taken after my son has been comforted and just before that last tear is wiped away. You can see in the photo above, he’s not actually upset, he just has that last tear below his eye which tells the story. My sister-in-law had done an excellent job of making him feel better and I was free to take a quick discreet photo.
With toddlers sometimes their emotions get the better of them in the most benign of circumstances, like having to wait a couple of extra minutes for their breakfast. I took this one of Alice as part of the Home Life Project last year and I love it because it’s proof that I didn’t dream all those moments when I was looking after a mad screaming banshee on my own.
And sometimes they pull faces which are hard to describe but definitely convey a real emotion…
But don’t panic! This really isn’t all about tears and tantrums. There is also excitement, happiness and surprise you can capture…
Photographer Kirsten Lewis (who I am a big fan of) takes amazing images of families going about their everyday lives and in one of her courses she talks about being patient and waiting for the moment. Instead of rushing into a situation and snapping away (which I think we can all be guilty of) we need to learn to quietly observe and wait for the right moment.
Whilst browsing round the web this week looking for photographic inspiration I discovered Laura and her blog Craftstorming and more particularly one photo that was selected as one of the top 30 images in a recent photo competition. Isn’t this great? I love the expressions on both her dad and daughter’s face.
Laura says : “This photo is of my daughter and my dad, while we were visiting London for the weekend. The room we were in had floor to ceiling glass on two sides and let in so much light. My dad loves to make children laugh and usually gets great reactions from them, and I try to capture this regularly. These are the moments I want to remember when my children are grown up. I didn’t notice it at the time but I love that her panda makes an appearance because this is still her favourite toy.”
Allie Morrison is another photographer I have recently discovered via Flickr and I think this photo of her children mid-laughter is wonderful. If you want to get lost for a while looking at fabulous images, follow this link to see her photostream.
I hope that’s given you a few ideas for the weekend! As always the creative challenge is entirely optional. If you want to know more about the Home Life Project or to grab badges they are all here and a big thank you to Allie & Laura for letting me share their photos in this post.