Wanna know why I photograph small moments? Read here:
I have a 4×6 cell phone snapshot from when Jack was three years old. It is by far, my favorite image of all time. It’s just a picture of the two of us and we are in his room. In this picture, I am crouching next to him, while he is standing. (Note: I did not look anywhere near my best. My makeup was smudged and worn from the day; and my hair was pulled back in a ponytail. I think I had exercised right before, but I can’t be sure.) Also, in my right hand, I am holding my picture of a cat I had colored and my left arm is around Jack and holding the image of a puppy he colored. He is wearing the biggest, and best smile, celebrating with his hands up in the air. In this pictur, he is SO excited “Mommy, we colored together!”
That picture is from about four years ago. I had placed my cell phone on his Mickey Mouse table, put the timer on, and we counted down. It is my favorite because it shows a time that he and I both truly enjoyed together. We remember picking out what colors we wanted to use. And I personally remember that he wanted to pick out each color for me (because after all; he was in pre-school, so he was “learning a lot about colors!”)
During the time, I was “just coloring” with Jack, but when we were finished, HE asked for us to take a picture together. HE was excited that we had that specific moment. HE celebrated, not what our pages looked like, but that we “DID IT!”
I have come to learn, in the time that I have been a mom that these small moments are spectacularly spontaneous.
Children develop a comfortability where their inner selves can really stand out. When that happens, they are truly extending a personal invitation to their imaginative inside worlds that we are generally no longer privy to otherwise. For them, play is learning, and we have a front seat to watch them become their true selves in real time.
These small moments are also a visual manifestation of our family dynamics.
Not only are we just role models and parent figures; we transform into playtime buddies, best friends, and are committing the purest, most innocent acts of love for our children. We are etching inside our children’s minds a visual example of the impossibility of limits we can impart on the world around us; that our creativity and imagination can connect our environments weaving stories of commonality and friendships.
For us, it’s just time spent building blocks, or coloring; or maybe swinging at the park. But for our kids, it’s so much more.
For my snapshot, I am very grateful, however, I do look back and wish that I had an album of us coloring in that particular moment, because I am also finding that it’s now me wanting to relive those memories as he is growing up. His interests are changing, and while we still spend our time making memories, there are occasions where I want to go back in time and let him pick out my colors again; I want him to be excited that we finished our pictures together. I also know that Jack will appreciate these things when he gets older and develops his own traditions.
Documentary photography is what I love doing because I believe in the magic it creates for the little eyes that watch us. Whether we realize it or not, the moments ARE fleeting by, and that we can sometimes get lost in the chaos of the world. And sometimes, it’s easy to forget that we are THEIR world and when we really think about it — Isn’t that what matters the most?