Miss the Shot, Be in the Moment

Putting the Camera Down

Photo Credit: Alisa J. Blanchard

It’s a beautiful morning as the family rushes to pack the car and get on the road. We attempt to account for the various items we will need for the current family excursion: diapers, wipes, “cow’s milk,” snacks, change of clothes, swim suit, gloves, toys for the ride, music CD’s, and the list goes on.

I grab my point and shoot camera, a nice easy to use model and toss it into the diaper bag with hopes someone else will pick it up and get some great shots. Next to the pile I place my DSLR, it is hard to leave the house without it in tow, over the past months it has unfortunately spent more time with me, than my own daughter.

My husband peeks into the diaper bag to make sure it is all set, grabs it and my daughter and says “ready? I’ll go get her in the car.” I grab my DSLR bag and head for the door.

We arrive at our destination and start the process of unloading the vehicle, and there it sits, the camera bag. My husband reminds me “You brought your ‘little camera,’ it’s in the diaper bag.” I am now faced with the decision to bring the bag with me or leave the DSLR camera in the car.

It won’t matter which camera I take, the issue will come down to do I spend all day attached to the camera or do I “miss the shot” so I can be mom and enjoy the activity.

At a recent cookout at a friends house, I spent a good majority of my time connecting with good friends I hadn’t seen in months, wading in the kiddie pool with my daughter, chasing my dogs away from the picnic table and occasionally trying to get my daughter to eat or drink, something. A few days later the friend posted a request for all photos from the cookout on Facebook.

It hit me; I didn’t really take many pictures that day. I had brought the big camera and only pulled it out once or twice. And though I am happy with the images I got, I realized most people wont want to see the 20 images of my daughter’s silhouette slam dunking a basketball (with my husband holding her up for me).

I replied to my friend “Sorry, I didn’t get many. I know, I know, the photographer didn’t get pictures.” Her kind reply “even you deserve a day off every now and then.”

I am sure she doesn’t understand how important that was to me, but it seemed to be just what I needed to hear in order to allow me that freedom to occasionally “miss the shot” and be in the moment with my daughter.

Since this cookout I can say I have been less incline to always insist on bringing “the big camera” as it is known in my house. My husband reminds me frequently “You took amazing images with this little thing before you got the big camera.”

He seems to understand the compulsion I have to capture the moment in a way I want to frame, which marketing and professional “peer pressure” has so cleverly taught me to believe, was not possible unless I used a DSLR.

I don’t have the same need to take photos of every moment, as I have come to realized sometimes living the moment is often more important than capturing it “just so.” (Though my husband might disagree.)

Now I find when I do take “the big” camera along, just in case, it is easier for me occasionally leave it in the car or in the basket of the stroller (which incidentally is also hardly ever used).


Alisa J. BlanchardAlisa J. Blanchard

A Berkshire transplant, Alisa is a: tattooed mom of an almost 2yr old girl; a photographer; singer (with her local chapter of Sweet Adelines International); writer; trained Doula (labor and postpartum support); and all around life enthusiast. She supports her family with her “day job” as a bookkeeper and fills her need for artistic expression in many diverse ways. When she is not making a mess with paints and her daughter; playing pranks on her husband; gardening; or hiking with the dogs; Alisa can be found working on her passionate dream of becoming a full-time photographer (Common Moments) and doula. cmoments@earthlink.net

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