Monday, May 23, 2011

When Your Kid Puts on His Own Pull-Up, You Know You Missed a Window


I guess this is birth-order in action.

My number three is four years old.   As twins, numbers one & two had to do a lot of things on their own simply because I couldn't do it all.  Now that I am parenting a singleton toddler (or little boy, whatever), I realize I can throw that twin guilt out the window, because there's a new inadequacy coming right down the track.

Today my sweet Jack began to turn into Violet Beauregard right before my eyes.  First, when I refused to put his pull-up on so he could finish his morning constitution (he still has potty issues), he ran to his room, stripped down, put on the pull-up, re-dressed himself and did his thing.  Later, when he yelled for me to wipe his nose for about the 20th time that day, I felt a barely contained urge to wipe it right off his face.  And at bedtime, he suddenly lost that ability to dress and undress himself and danced around the room while I maniacally chased him with p.j. pants, opened so he could slide each leg in.   Then it hit me:  I'm creating a monster.

Tomorrow, the madness will end. The nose I wipe will be my own.  Same for the shoes I put on and the pants I slide legs into.  I am laughing at myself because this image clashes with the one I had of myself.  Max & Alex were, by necessity, so self sufficient that I silently mocked those coddling moms.  And now, I have become one.

Serves me right.  I must remember to be kind both to myself, and to the other moms.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Feelin it.

In my photo class this week we went through a sequencing exercise which was quite eye opening and frankly, a little bruising to my fragile ego.  Our assignment was to get 40 work prints made at Adorama (learning to work with a lab) of our work-in-progress final assignment.  We then brought the prints to class, spread them on a table, and the group of six sorted the photos by which ones they liked, didn't and were on the fence.  Gulp.

My project centers around the life of boys, though admittedly, I have yet to really drill it down beyond that.  While of course, there were nice things said, the critiques were the toughest to hear.  And yet, once I was able to process things, they were spot on, and will certainly up my game.  I just hate negative feedback and have never been good at it.

Here's a few of what I set on the table:

The most constructive feedback was to mix it up more.  To work on new angles, new expressions, try some new lenses and new ideas.  People wanted more range of motion, more details and more environment.  OK, I guess it's good they wanted more.  Show the struggle, someone said.

Also, many suggested to lose the b&w.  Well, that's easy enough. I like b&W beacause I feel it lends a timeless feeling to the childhood  images and also, frankly, because I think it's more forgiving of some of my attempts to get rid of color casts.

Anyway, on this day, I'm resolved to try some new things.  I don't know that I captured the struggle, but I'll tell you this -- I'm feeling it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Newborn session numero uno.

Why do they call it a shoot?  Sounds menacing when partnered with newborn.  We'll go with session.

Here's delicious little James.  So beautifully tiny and so brand new.

I sent an email to a mom in our preschool right after she emailed us the announcement, explaining that photography was my hobby and I would love to take some pictures of her new guys.  I went over when he was seven days old, and oh my, he was just so delicious.  Here's some of his loveliness.

Color correcting these was tough.  I used the gold side of the reflector (mistake -- too gold) and the dark blue wall above the wainscoating cast a blue glow (see his tush).  Watch the wall color and use the white side.  Lesson learned. 
I put his little images up on smugmug based on a recommendation from a photographer friend.  Great way to get a website up quickly which links to a terrific lab.  There's not much there yet, but if you care to look, here's mine:

Next:  the New Orleans trip.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

To Virginia

We haven't been to Virginia to visit our family there for over two years.  I forgot the beauty of central Virginia in April.  It was a peek into spring fast forwarded four weeks.
And you can't beat an afternoon into the Blue Ridge Mountains.  (Yes, John Denver's Country Roads was a recurring theme.  Kids didn't appreciate my vocals though. Philistines)

Eight hours plus each way in the moving living room we call our car.  Mark drove both legs.  Such a good egg.  I love the 2.5 hour stretch from DC to Charlottesville, but the rest is a slog along I-95.  Don't tell him, but for a while there I was behind him with the laptop open, my headphones on watching Marie Antoinette like an in-flight movie.

I really don't mind the drive, but I would love to have family close enough for Sunday dinner.