I’ve found myself lately, as the mother of two teens, unable to snap a decent photo of my children. They want to pull faces, grimace and generally hide from the flash of their proud momma’s camera. I have tried pleading to teen girl vanity letting them know that when they’re older, they’ll look back at their cute little mugs thinking, “Huh! I was young and adorable!” No one is listening to this wise old woman.
So, how do I get around this? I could do like the school photographer last week who found out two of the children in the class photo he snapped didn’t have permission slips filled out to be in the shot. He photo-shopped in a little caricature and popped it right on their little bodies. I believe this method would put me in hot water, much like that poor school photographer is now.
I could crop their raspberries right out of the picture but then where would we be? I could coerce and guilt them into smiling but those grins tend to look forced. That’s when I earn the nickname “Mom-arazzi”. But, aren’t we all scrappers a little bit compulsive about grabbing shots?
It isn’t often I come up with a viable solution concerning my offspring. Mostly, I just stumble my way through parenting like a mole through an obstacle course. So, it occurred to me lately, to just hand the camera off to them. After all, their Facebook pages are cluttered with “self-portraits”—from the oh so popular “duck face” pose to the reflected mirror image. Clearly, my children don’t suffer from lack of confidence in their own mugs. They just don’t want me to pose them or tell them to put their arms around their sisters.
The first time I realized my kids’ talents for picture taking was when my 18 year old visited us here in Alaska last summer. Because he hadn’t brought a camera, I loaned him my Nikon. By the time I got the camera back and began to stroll through his SD, I was blown away. He snapped shots of things I wouldn’t have thought of taking. His perspective was completely different from mine….in a really good way. And, my camera was full of shots of he and his sisters. EUREKA! This was brilliant! I downloaded the pictures into my camera (including a few he had Photo Shopped), did a little editing and I had a mementos of a great family day.
It’s gotten so normal around here for my kids to grab up the camera when they see a shot worth taking that at Easter, I simply enjoyed my coffee and observed the fun. It was great to watch while everyone else smirked, cheesed and generally posed for some really great photographs. So did this new turn of events leave me without a job? Nope! Now, I could simply print my family’s gorgeous faces and exciting moments and scrapbook them into the albums for future cherishing.
No kidding. This just might be the most brilliant thing I’ve ever (secretly) implemented in my time as a mom. But, don’t tell them I’ve put one over on them. This is our little secret. ;)