The thing is, I got a new camera. And in the space of 7 days, I had amassed 1059 shots on the memory card. It's a DSLR and I really don’t know what I’m doing with it but I do know that you can take photos like a frenzied fashion photographer “Click! Click! Click! Click!” and suddenly you have 107 new photos, all in the space of 15 seconds. It’s thrilling. And then if you flick through the pics really quickly, it looks like one of those stick figure flipbooks you used to make at school. Awesome.
But how many photos is too many?
When LD was born, I went twelve kinds of nutty with the camera. First child, the most beautiful baby ever born, yada yada yada – I was obsessive. Some months after LD’s arrival, I went through and chose favourites to print and pop in an album. I knew there was a problem when I’d filled one entire album and hadn’t gotten past the hospital post birth yet. But I ask you, nay, CHALLENGE you to choose your faves when it’s your kid. EVERY photo is worthy of printing….I have trouble deleting the digital file even when the shot is so completely blurry that I could flog it to OK! magazine as a papp snap of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt in Venice.
Okay, so print less. I learned that lesson. I do love a book of actual photos but at the rate I was going, I would have needed to rent a storage space just to house the albums. Print only the super amazing highlights. The rest can live on a disc. Perfect. But that doesn’t solve the problem of the taking of a ba-zillion photos. How does one curb that particular addiction?
My stepdad, Himself, tried to warn me. “One of my nieces or nephews, I can’t remember which” – fair call, Himself has approximately 27 brothers and sisters so who knows how many nieces or nephews we’re looking at here? – “but one of them had so many photos taken of them that they started shutting their eyes every time the camera came out.” We’d just had an especially snap happy day at LD’s baptism. But I wasn’t worried. The kid loved a camera. He really did.
But when the cracks began to show, I began to appreciate the prescience of Himself’s words. Observe the cracks –
Or this heartbreaking sequence;
So, I guess when the subject stopped co-operating, I did stop taking so many photos. But then Zee came along. Now I am, like Zee, the second child. And as most second (and subsequent) children will know, the photo count goes down DRAMATICALLY. The first kid has a photographic shrine and every other kid thereafter is lucky to get a couple of snaps at birthdays. My mum, Betty, says, “I didn’t own a camera. Blame your father!” and other lame shit like that. So when Betty made a little aside about how fewer photos of Zee I had on Facebook as compared with LD, I just knew she was waiting (with gleeful anticipation) for me to fall foul of the ‘Photographic Second Child Syndrome’ – but more fool her because Zee has probably pulled ahead in the digital photo archives. I am going out of my way to ensure that he never feels the sting of photo neglect.
But perhaps this has come at a cost. In the first day with new camera, I took many, many photos. Predominantly of Zee. Because taking photos of LD goes like this.
But back to the cost. The price poor Zee has paid for my refusal to let him be left behind, photographically speaking. Nothing could deter me from my relentless photo taking. Not children squinting, begging, bawling. “Let me get the camera!” was the catchcry of the day (to day).
But then there was this.
I have no earthly idea how I managed to capture this freakish and truly disturbing moment. Except for the fact that I took 107 photos in 5 seconds. I think, maybe, that was one too many.
So what has motherhood taught me today? Okay, truthfully, nothing. I have yet to curb my camera-crazed ways. Blame my kids – they have gorgeous heads……..