My daughter loves being outside. It’s been good for me actually, because my first tendency is to keep inside where it’s nice and cool and maybe where I can catch up on a few TV shows. But she forces me to expand myself and I love her for it.
This little series was shot back in May and are some of my favorite images I’ve ever taken of her. Not so much the photos themselves (although I do love them), but mostly the memory of that afternoon. I’m sitting on the front steps, she doesn’t want to go back inside so I’m checking mail on the phone while she just walks around.
Suddenly I hear her laugh and I look up and she’s standing by this puddle in our driveway. I had watered the grass earlier and there was a decent amount of water just chilling out on the cement, waiting for a kid to walk by. I kind of half-heartedly say “Don’t get wet okay?” And the next thing I know, she steps in it and then sits down.
So my first inclination is to go UGH, diaper wet, pants wet…she’s gonna be dirty. Her mom is going to be annoyed. Then I realized all that wasn’t true and didn’t matter. Her mom isn’t like that. And so what? I’ll just give her a bath.
I mean, look at all the fun she’s having.
My next thought (OF COURSE!) is to run grab the camera. And I just kind of laid down on the driveway with her (not in the water) and documented this little adventure of hers. I made her splash the puddle a few times so I could capture it at just the right moment. I laughed as she not only was sitting down, but then decided Why Not? and just went face down in that thing. Looking at herself in the reflection and laughing. Standing up, dripping wet and then just walking around in the water.
I don’t want to be a photographer that hides behind the camera, always snapping, never participating. It’s easy to do that. Anytime your kids do anything, you want to photograph it. It gets to the point that you aren’t actually being a part of what they are doing. I went through a phase of that but I think I’ve relaxed a little and found a nice balance. I wait for the important moments now instead of making everything a photo-op.
Of course…on the flip side…a day like this might easily be forgotten after a few years. Without a camera, you miss being able to capture those moments that make them who they are.