On my Tray of Bliss today is this absolute corker of a photo.
I'm sorry, I know the little one is distressed, but it just makes a giggle burble up inside my chest every time I look at it. Possibly because she looks like she's just woken up in the FOULEST temper...a bit like myself some days! Oh to be the parent or photographer who had the presence of mind to capture their subjects' inner demon that day.
I guess another reason I love this shot, is because my Mother took a similar one of my younger brother at around the same age. He is seated in our Wicker pram (gosh, anyone else remember those?), wailing his head off. We're getting it blown up on canvas for him for his 50th birthday...*cheeky grin*.
It just goes to show that the most memorable photographs, the most honest ones that show the 'real you', are not the ones we pay the big bucks for. I daresay this one was a professional shoot gone sort-of-wrong, but it's a reminder that you and a camera can be a powerful recorder of your family life. Sure, not each one will be picture perfect with glossy smiles, but then, real life isn't either, is it?
I confess to having fallen prey to the shopping centre photographers with their kitschy cute costumes for little babies and toddlers. Yes I have a 'professional' shot with my then baby daughter sporting a leopard skin beret and a velvet choker (no, really!). I liked it for the length of time it took to whip out my card and whisk it through the EFT machine. After that, it didn't appeal to me so much.
That wasn't my little one.
My darling girl is the one picking every single red hibiscus from our bushes in the backyard the morning of a big party, leaving not one for the guests to admire. She's the one trying to brush the dogs' teeth with soap. She's the little girl all dressed in purple, tights and patent leather shoes and all, walking down the long driveway with Daddy to help with the digging. Here she is, snuggled up to her disabled brother on his birthday, having opened ALL of his presents for him. Those are the moments I've captured that remind me of the fun times, the memorable times in our family.
You are the best judge of the important moments in your family life. And they're not when your little ones are dressed up in miniature Moulin Rouge or Football attire in a floodlit studio.
I have my camera primed and ready to go at any moment. You just never know when a great photo opportunity will arise.
Skip the shopping centre photographers, and cancel your appointment with that expensive portrait photographer who wants you all dressed in formal wear or all wearing the same t-shirt, so that they can capture you 'at your best'.
How about putting a big colourful birthday cake in close reach of your one year old and recording what happens next. Or capturing your kids deep in concentration over their homework or a favourite game. Or snapping your husband or Nan or Pop cooking or reading with the kids. They don't even have to be looking at the camera.
Record your family at their best moments for sure. But let a few of those not-quite-at-our-best ones creep in too. They're the ones that will put a smile on your face 10, 20, 30 years from now.
What's on your Tray of Bliss today?