I have three nieces and a nephew, thanks to my two brothers. From oldest to youngest, they are affectionately known in the blogosphere as:
- The Small Fry
- Baby Girl
- The Peanut
- Rosie (short for The Rosebud, and not even remotely resembling her given name or nickname)
The small fry, Baby Girl, and Rosie are siblings and the peanut is their cousin. I have 5″ x 7″ photos of two of the littles matted and framed.
You’ve seen the small fry’s photo as I’m the one who shot it… the little dude was the photographic embodiment of joy if ever there was one. Slinging balloons hither and to while grinning like the littles do. I don’t get a lot of candids of people that I really like. It’s not my forte. And the photo of the small fry is more luck than skill, I think. The fact that his head remained still while his little body threw balloons back and forth is, kind of, miraculous. Like I said… luck.
Baby Girl’s photo was shot by her mama. She’s a shade over a year in age, wearing one of my kitchen skull caps and her apron while “cooking” in her play kitchen. She has a soft expression on her face and the lighting is soft, reminiscent of the magic hour. This photo sat in the cover of my binder the while I was in culinary school, garnering ooos and ahs when people got a glimpse of her cuteness. One of my sous chefs, to be sure.
The peanut lives in another state and while I’ve had a few opportunities to visit with her in the past year and a half, I haven’t shot any photos of her. Dagnabbit. And the local fam has been shooting photos using cell phones. Too little resolution for my purposes. Dagnabbit, again. I need to either move back or convince them to start using the DSLR.
I accompanied my brother, sis-in-law, the littles, and my sis-in-law’s parents to Legoland last month for the small fry’s fifth birthday. Rosie was teething and not particularly happy unless she was with Mama or Amma (her grandma) so I became the staff photographer for the field trip. My sis-in-law had her DSLR and I had mine, but it’s hard to shoot photos while holding an almost one-year-old. I know, I did it while my sis-in-law was on a ride with Baby Girl.
Near midday, we found a playground where the littles could run around, working out some of their wiggles. My sis-in-law grabbed Rosie from the stroller and let her crawl around. The little girl found a window, pulled herself up, and started looking through.
Trying to pose an almost one-year-old for photos is like capturing lightning in a bottle. It’s impossible. They wiggle, they crawl away, they screw up their faces and cry. I’m pretty sure that inside their little heads they even mock adults for behaving like fools while trying to elicit a smile from their pudgy little faces. Rosie, however, was having a grand time in the little window and with the sun streaming behind her, conditions were perfect for an unscripted photo.
For most of the day, her little face was splotchy from bouts of complaining, no doubt brought on by a stubborn tooth that insisted on breaking through. She was also pretty leaky, with drool bombs every other minute. But with the sunlight streaming through, her creamy complexion smoothed out. Add to that an unbelievably relaxed expression that merely hints at a smile, and she’s exquisite.
I’ve been waiting for the perfect photo of Rosie to matte and frame next to her brother and sister and this photo won the honor in glorious fashion. I doubt that I will ever have the opportunity to shoot such a photo of her again, simply because you don’t really plan photos with infants and toddlers, you just have to be ready when they happen. One of those right-time-right-place thingies. Thankfully, I was in the right place at the right time… and had my camera ready to capture the world through the eyes of a child.