Monday, April 8, 2013

Say 'Cheese!'

My husband and I were recently looking at the slideshow we made for our wedding. It included some classic pictures from when we were younger... and by classic I don't necessarily mean fabulous. We decided that very few of those old photos would pass for acceptable in today's world of re-taking digital photos in the quest for the "perfect" shot.

Our inclination these days is not only to capture a moment, but to capture the best version of that moment. If you're anything like us, that means you end up with approximately 30 versions of the exact same photo and sometimes one is kinda sorta decent. We don't have single moments in time captured. Given the quantity of photos, we have entire scenes. I'm sure we could easily do some sort of stop motion animation sequence... The title could be 'Funny Face,' or 'Seriously, How Did I Not Get At Least One Of You Smiling?'

The problem with that many choices is that you become quite fixated on the negative. Oh, her eyes could be more open, they aren't standing close enough, bad head angle, he's looking away, half of you have sunglasses on and half don't, can you bend a little more in the front so I can see the sign behind you, etc. And I don't actually think the final product is any rival to the single shot variety that now has become infamous for its imperfection. I can take 25 pictures of three children sitting together to get a half decent one. But aren't the ones where one kid was making a funny face, one was looking away, and one looks perfect great photos too?

I don't feel like the photos we took are any less special or valuable because they weren't all instant frame-rs. The ability to take more has us taking more, but the excess does not always bring success. So why do we keep doing it? If someone was talking or something obviously went wrong, I understand re-taking a photo. But the entire memory of our computer is being used for photos that are a mix bag of decent, totally suck, kind of suck and OK, maybe I could actually share that one. It's just too much.

Don't even get me started on the anxiety of picking a holiday card. Having professional photos taken has to be worth its weight in stress. We didn't have any professional shots taken last year, and come December, with the frustration of several amateur "photo shoots" of our own still fresh in my mind, I considered just finding a stand-in kid to send out to our loved ones. I ended up going with a collage of fair-to-decent pictures to show a melange of the kid, who I actually think is quite cute in person. In pictures, well, not so much.

It's not that I'm being tough on her... it really is quite something:
"The Fat Face" does seem to be her "Blue Steel" go-to
So, yes, when your professional-ish camera is able to miss the perfect moment and you end up with a library full of these shots, you become somewhat frustrated. Or, if you are me, you have an epiphany: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Even though we can take more pictures, if it is in your genes to look like this in a photo,

then 30 versions of the same shot aren't going to help.

We are extremely grateful for the couple of photos that we actually think are "good." We are doomed if we were hoping for great photos to hang like artwork on our wall. The fact that many people can do that is amazing to us. One day she is going to be psyched to discover this treasure trove of slideshow worthy photos we are collecting, warts and all. With so many to choose from, I think we may as well switch back to single shots. The odds of getting a frame-r every now and then are probably the same, but maybe it will prevent our computer from crashing and us losing them all entirely.

Which brings me to the next obvious issue... we never print photos anymore!  I think the lack of frame-rs has gone to my head and I have abandoned printing altogether. We own a photo printer, and yet when I looked around my apartment the other day, I realized our most recent picture of her that is in a frame is almost 6 months old... one quarter of her life. And I only did that because we had a party recently and I felt guilty because the other photos of her are more than a year older than that. It is embarrassing. The most recent pictures of us in frames are from our wedding, nearly four years ago, so at least I am consistently bad at it.

There is every possibility that our photos may one day disappear. Yes, they are on the computer, but I'm pretty sure that is neither fail safe nor fool proof. Oh simple days, where have you gone? Hopefully we won't lose them all and we will be able to embarrass the heck out of her with a slideshow one day. We are certainly ready for it!
How can she look so in pain while smiling?

1 comment:

  1. HAHAHA!! Hysterical.. laughing so much. Surely those are the best pics?!


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