February 4, 2014

My Lifeblood Apparent

I first started using the ‘momtographer’ label as a way to preemptively stave off criticism. A mom is generally referred to as a ‘momtographer’ when she is so in to photographing her kids that she fancies herself the family’s professional photographer. The stereotypical momtographer doesn’t have the skill she thinks she has. Like her, I knew I was going to come across as obsessive with the camera, with a possibly over inflated sense of ability. Using the label ‘momtographer’ was a way of acknowledging that fact. If I call myself a momtographer, than maybe no one else will feel the need to, and maybe they wouldn’t feel the need to point out my photography flaws either.

It seems the label fits better than I intended. My photos are my lifeblood. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to be detached from them.

When I was in gradschool there was no distinction between ‘work’ computer and ‘personal’ one. It was all one device. All my photos were just a finger stroke away. I’ve become accustomed to having them close. Whenever I had the itch to look back over old photos struck, I could scratch it. And scratch it I did.

To give a concrete example, a few days ago I had a bump in my site traffic coming from facebook. While I can’t see the original facebook post that cause the traffic bump, I can see that it was linking to my rings on toes photos. My first reaction was to go to the post myself. Where those photos worthy of a facebook link? I posted only four photos, but took many more. My next impulse was to open the directory where they are stored to see what other gems I may have captured that may have been better.

I found this:

I normally err on too shallow a depth of field, but I think the extra shallow depth of field works really well here. It helps that her toes are in focus. If I have one quibble it would be nice if all 10 of her toes were visible.

I knew I often flip threw old photos, but I it wasn’t apparent how frequently until I started working again. Multiple times a day some past memory will pop into my head, and I have the urge to go back over past photos. Waiting until I’m home to see if I captured certain moments was driving me batty. Having facebook and instagram on my phone is a poor substitute. They represent just a small fraction of my photos, and not necessary the best.

A few weeks ago I joined a photography forum at work. An expect mom was seeking advice for newborn photography. Many of the photographers in the forum posted some of their work to illustrate their recommendations from setups to camera settings. It made me yearn for my photos. Did I manage to capture anything remotely in the same league as these guys? Could I apply any of their post processing advice? How does my work compare?!

Nicki’s Foot
A similar photo to one of the ones posted in the photography forum.

I told Domingo about my photo separation anxiety, for lack of a better phrase. He joked I should quit my job to become a photographer. That might work except it’s not the camera part I am having troubles being apart from.

P.S. Can you tell I love baby toes?

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