The Reluctant Subjects

I have no ambition to be a pro photographer, but I do enjoy taking photos.

I take photos of anything; the kids, the dogs, special occasions, holidays, the outdoors and places we visit. I don’t really have a favourite subject but my most consistently photographed subject would have to be my children.

 At first I started taking photos of them to share with friends and family overseas, and then as a record of how they have changed as they have grown. The kids love their baby photos and will pour over them for hours, if they are given that long on my computer.
But anyone who has ever tried to take a picture of more than one child will know how difficult it is to get a picture where all children are
a/looking at the camera
b/ have arranged their features so they actually look like themselves. I’m not even talking about having them all smiling pleasantly; all I ask of my four is that they not resemble a chimpanzee sucking on a slice of lemon when I press the button.
This seems to get exponentially harder the more kids you have  in your group. I usually have to take  around 10-20 pictures to get something halfway decent of my four. I’m pretty sure that it must be an almost impossible task if you have more than six.

Kids seem go through stages when it comes to having photos taken. There is the oblivious stage where, as toddlers, they move too fast to photograph easily. I have lots of body part photos from when my kids were this age. In my experience they are best photographed when asleep, watching TV, held by another family member or eating something.

brother and sister
Next comes the gurning stage; put a camera anywhere  them and they plaster a hideous fake smile across their face and beam it directly at the camera lens. It’s cute for the first 2-3 photos but unfortunately it can last for years.
gurning girl
Once they learn to control their faces properly, you can get some really lovely photos of your children. Make the most of this stage; it won’t last long.
Z 7 year old
All too soon they enter the reluctant stage. My girls are now ‘hate’  having their pictures taken and require bribery to appear in photographs. This I can do. But trying to get a photo where they are not visibly sulking, red-eyed from crying, red-faced with anger, rolling their eyes or trying to hide from the camera can require quite a bit of negotiation on my part. I get quite cross by their attitude to my attempts to chronicle their life in  photos. It’s for their benefit after all. Only a few photos end up on my blog or Face Book.
hiding behind an ice cream
I’m told that next I will have the ‘No Photos’ stage of teenage hood to contend with. They will take most of the photos themselves and I will no longer be allowed within 5 metres of them with a camera. Any time I attempt to Pap them, all I will end up with is a photo of their hand.
None of mine are at this stage yet, but I  think I am going to consider it a personal challenge. Cameras are getting smaller and smaller these days, you know. My kids maybe able to run, but I’m willing to bet that they can’t hide from me completely…

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