The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Friday, December 22, 2006

Say Cheese

On the weekend we took The Boy to the mall for some Christmas shopping and photo shoot with Santa.

Hello Sears Catalog. Your next model is right here.

This particular Santa set-up was by donation, with all profits benefiting the local Christmas Bureau, so parents were allow to use their own cameras too. Naturally I brought my camera along for the ride. The Boy was in a great mood despite being under-napped and over stimulated, so we got a couple good shots of him and the man in red as a result. As I was picking him off of Santa's knee, Santa asked me if I wanted to get a few shots with my camera. "Uh... no thanks, we've got enough."

To be honest I only brought my camera along just in case The Boy wasn't so well behaved. If he was having a fit or yanking Santa's hat, then I'd have my camera set to auto advance. It's those precious moments you just don't want to miss.

P: Why do you only photograph The Boy at his worst?
Me: Because it's funny.

I have hundreds of good shots of The Boy too, shots that make P and I "awwww" with joy, but a photo of The Boy swinging off Santa's beard, that's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I wish there were more shots like that of me as a baby. Most of the pictures of my childhood are posed to a point of being painful. This was long before the days of auto-focus, point and shoot cameras, so we had to stand there while Dad metered and measured everything first. Three to five shots in the same location, in the same pose, talk about un-spontaneous.

So I follow The Boy around everywhere with the camera, trying to capture him at his best, but secretly hoping for a few gaffs along the way. This particular day he got tired of being photo documented. Maybe he could do better than me?

Give me that damn camera!

Sometimes I look at The Boy and think to myself, what will he be like when he gets older? What will he be into? Sports? Art? Music? A little work on composition and I think photography is on the list.