One of my dearest friends, Christine, recently had a baby boy. I wanted so much to go visit her and Davy, and to take a few photos (I was lucky enough to be able to take photos when her first little baby, Kathy, was born, and I couldn't wait to repeat the experience.) All of a sudden it hit me... contrast between a baby and his father... size is the first, and most obvious thought. For the first photo, I wanted to focus on the difference in the size of their hands. It's almost shocking, isn't it? I was watching my 14 year old son today, in his white button-up shirt and tie. I was thinking how he was practically a man. Taller than I am, broad, confident. He started out about the same size as little Davy here... at one time I held his tiny fingers in my hand and admired each detail of his perfect miniature hand. Now his hands hold tools to fix a bike, open a stubborn jar lid when I can't, and hold a rake to help his dad in the yard. His hands get dirty and calloused, and someday those hands will be man hands... and they'll hold the precious, soft, tiny fingers of his own son.
When I thought of these things, the contrast of age really stuck out to me, and I wanted to capture a moment between a father and a son. There is such a contrast in what a boy is during all the stages of his life. He starts as a teeny little helpless bean, nestled in the strong hands of his father... he grows into a rough and tumble little guy who wrestles with his dad on the grass. Then he's a bigger boy, doing work alongside his dad... and then... then, the circle continues as he becomes a father himself. (This second photo also has contrast of light and dark with the backlighting, but that seemed much less important to me.)
The second part of the assignment was choosing the Decisive Moment... we were allowed only 3 shots, so we had to be patient, and careful. I set up this little scenario here... big sister with little baby brother, and I'll admit that I took one test shot for lighting (that's fair, right?), and then I waited, because I knew that something cute was going to happen. Hello, how could it not?? It was so hard to decide out of the 3, but this one has to be my favorite, I think. I was asking Kathy if Davy's hands were as big as hers, and she picked up his little hand, started shaking his hand and saying, "I appreciate you. I appreciate you so much"... shaking the entire time. Obviously Davy didn't appreciate her quite as much in this moment, but it was one of those sweet moments that will give me the giggles for a long time to come.
This "decisive moment" lessons has perhaps been my favorite so far. I really like waiting for, and helping to create that perfect moment, rather than randomly shooting (which is easy to do with a digital camera) and hoping that you get that perfect shot among the throw-aways. I already have developed a habit of shooting more deliberately, but I want to get even better at anticipating and catching that exact moment... I'm going to continue to practice limiting myself to less shots.