This is an oft-Pinned quote that doesn’t seem to have a source, but it comes to mind often. We live across the country from my extended family, so I try to make the most of the few visits we get to have. Mine is a very baby-centric family, and everyone wants to hold my daughter when we are there. I love to watch her interact with them – the smiles, the goofy voices, the toys.
But as soon as I pick up my camera, I find most people automatically stop interacting with her and try to “smile for the camera”.
I get it, I do. It’s part of our culture. But those aren’t the photos I want (they rarely come out well with a baby anyway). I want to capture the interactions. I want to see her face as she gets to know them, to see their faces as they try to make her laugh. Those are the moments that tell the story for me, not structured smiles and someone behind me trying to get the baby to look in my general direction.
And so I keep waving on my family members, encouraging them to ignore me and keep doing what they were doing. My daughter, of course, “just knows she is having fun.” She doesn’t know we are trying to “make a memory”, much less capture one. She is in the moment I am trying to grasp.