Saturday, June 18, 2011

Don't Shoot!

Don’t Shoot!

By Allison Adams 05-29-11 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 05-30-11

Just once I’d like to be able to lift, aim, and focus my camera to take a picture of my kids without them scattering like ball bearings hitting a marble floor.

“Take cover! She’s got a camera!”

For heaven’s sake, people! It’s a Canon; not a cannon!

All I want is a couple of cheesy shots of my cherubs to slide beneath the magnets on the refrigerator door.

In the early days, even before my children knew exactly I what I was doing with the contraption that hung around my neck, I was usually out of film. Or, out of batteries. And they were always out of focus.

There was no such thing as a “candid” shot. No, sir.

Every photo was painstakingly directed, and then I spent an inordinate amount of time checking to see that I had all the photographic accoutrements (film, batteries), and then it took me a little longer to make sure I could keep the moving targets in focus.

Oh, the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the annual Christmas card family photo …

By the time I got my first digital camera my children were on to me and my quest to capture the moment, so I rarely got a chance because it was almost impossible give chase while I held the thing at arm’s length, all the while trying to keep the subject matter framed within the tiny screen on the back of the camera.

Autofocus was of no use to me in those situations.

If they really thought about it, my children would realize my photographs are harmless. I mean, anymore it’s not like I actually ever print the photos I take. They live perpetually inside my camera, stored on that little thingamajig the size of a postage stamp.

Someday though, maybe I’ll get my pictures off of that doohickey. Then maybe I’ll have prints made of the pictures I really like.

I’ll use photo-friendly glue sticks to adhere them onto decorative acid-free archival paper. I’ll sort through a selection of paper-punchers that create an array of themed shapes with which to adorn the page in the photo album.

I’ll write a little blurb about the picture, like where it was taken and who’s in it … except that I really won’t because the photos of my kids set against a scenic background turn out to be shots of scenery and a hint of a couple of nondescript body parts.

“Oh, THAT’S a picture of my children on our recent hike. See? The shadow right over there is the back of my daughter’s head. She spotted me with my camera and slipped behind that tree. And look! There’s my son – that speck in the upper right-hand corner is his left heel. He is quite a runner!”

When I finally realized that the only thing me and my camera were really good for was clearing a room or the wilderness, I became indebted to anyone who happened to snap a shot of my children and share it with me.

The fact of the matter is that if it weren’t for those who shoot and share (or shoot and sell), I’d have no photographs of my son’s teenaged years.

My son has even managed to slyly sabotage his likeness in professional photographs.

Recently, I parted with a nice chunk of change when I ordered a professionally photographed group shot of his whole graduating class, taken on the steps in front of the school.

When I received the photo in the mail I was so excited to have such a wonderful keepsake of this important milestone that it took me several minutes to finally find my son in the picture – lying face down on the pavement … like he was waiting for the police to show up with their chalk.

I am not making this up.

You better believe THAT one’s on the refrigerator.

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