The Photo Not Taken

by Susan

Okay Ladies, Susan here…

Unlike my twin sister Janice, I HATE taking photos. I hate BEING in photos even more than I hate taking them, but now as a mom, both have turned into necessary evils.

Janice loves to take photos… if she had more time, she’d even love to become a professional photographer. Well, despite our identical DNA, I do not share her passion for photography.

I find taking photos incredibly stressful.

I don’t understand anything about apertures or whatever and I don’t want to know anything about them. BUT, I DO want cute photos of my little girls. So, taking pictures, or NOT taking them as the case usually is, becomes a source of stress and overwhelms me with feelings of failure.

And since I figure I’ll never capture the moment as well as it deserves to be captured, I often don’t even try.

I berate myself for my inability to take good photos and then I move on to self-pity that I do not have enough documentation of my girls’ fleeting childhood.

Take for instance this weekend…

empty photo frameI missed a perfect photo opportunity and now I can’t stop beating myself up about it.

The rain finally stopped and along with my friend Julie, we took our girls to the park. As I was getting in the car, Julie asked if I had my camera. I admitted I didn’t and I ran to get it.

So, with my camera riding along in the bottom of the stroller, we watched our kids play at the park. But, there it sat. I never took it out. I kept thinking about it, but each minute passed and I didn’t pull that lonely camera from the stroller.

And even when… get this… two llamas on leashes came by for a visit, I STILL didn’t get my camera.

I told myself:

  • the stroller was too far away (it was only 10 feet away),
  • I didn’t want to bother the owners (another mom took a photo),
  • and really the big excuse… that I wouldn’t get a good enough shot anyway!!!

So now, Julia and Sophia have NO PHOTO to remember this special day when they got to pet two llamas on leashes walking through the park.

Argh. I hate being like this.

But it’s a vicious cycle…

The more I get mad at myself for not being skilled with a camera, the less photos I take, and the more depressed I get that I don’t have enough photos of my family.

Thank the Good Lord, that he gave me my trusty twin Janice! Without Janice, I’d have no adorable photos of my precious tykes.

But the problem is Janice is not with my kids enough and so I still don’t get enough photos. I MUST get over my ridiculous refusal to snap shots and do a better job documenting my girls childhood.

Really, I mean enough already…
I freakin’ missed a shot of two LLAMAS on LEASHES!!!

 
Written by Susan, co-founder of the 5 Minutes for Mom Mommy Blog.
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Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mindy January 4, 2010 at 7:30 pm

You know the other side to this is that when you are obsessed with getting the shot, every single time, you find yourself looking at your life through a viewfinder, rather than actually EXPERIENCING it. There have been so many amazing things that I wish I would have paid better attention to instead of focusing, adjusting, and waiting for the “perfect” shot instead of both eyes on the moment, soaking it all in and loving every minute.

I think it is a balance.

I also think that once you become the “memory taker” in the family, when you show up to something “sans camera” people get kind of irritated. They want to experience the day and want YOU to capture the memories for them.

There’s that expectation too.

Anyway, I enjoyed your post and love seeing how two people that share DNA can be different (unique) too in many ways.

Yours,
Mindy

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2 Michelle January 4, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Llamas on leashes? For all the times at that park I have never ever seen LLamas on leashes!!!

We will have to fix this :) I can talk aperture and manual etc over coffee :)

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3 Michelle January 4, 2010 at 7:39 pm

oh and don’t beat yourself up Susan!

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4 Christine January 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm

What’s more is that you missed a shot of your girls with the two llamas on leashes! lol

Like I just said on Twitter :: tomorrow is a new day, free of mistakes and full of new challenges.

Your challenge? To take more pics of your beautiful girls. Don’t worry about what the pictures may look like, just remember that you are recording your babies’ lives!

No pressure…

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5 Julie L January 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Oh my word Susan-you have such a lovely face and smile-you are wayyy too hard on yourself :)

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6 Jules January 4, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I do take a lot of pictures but there are a lot of events when I have my camera and never pull it out! Why do we do that?

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7 Trudy January 4, 2010 at 9:10 pm

OK so photagraphy is not your thing. That’s not a big deal. Get a simple point and shoot camera. There are many out there. Keep it in your hands not in the stroller or in your purse or in your car. If the camera is in your hands you have no excuse not to shoot the llamas on leashes. You just have to make it easy for yourself.

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8 Smorgyworgy January 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm

It’s posts like these that make me wonder why in the heck this blog is so popular. Who cares?

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9 Sarah January 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Before I got my DSLR, I used to carry my point & shoot camera around in my purse or in my pocket. It was always with me. And, if you’re outdoors, then try turning your flash off. You might like the look of the pics better. Sounds like you have lots of people in your life though that can talk “camera” with you. Don’t beat yourself up for what you don’t do. There’s lots of things you ARE good at… focus on those things.

Blessings! -Sarah

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10 Tarasview January 4, 2010 at 10:08 pm

You know what? I totally used to be like that! My husband is the photographer in the family and I dreaded getting my picture taken and I just never bothered to take pictures of my own… until the digital camera came about! I LOVE the digital camera- because even if the pictures are awful it costs me nothing and I can just delete them! Perfect.

And I promise that it gets easier with time. You can do it!

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11 Tarasview January 4, 2010 at 10:09 pm

oh, and please ignore the above commenter who clearly doesn’t realize what a gem this blog is. We love you to bits.

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12 Muthering Heights January 4, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I’m so sorry you missed the shot! I feel your pain…

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13 Mamma M January 4, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I love taking pics, but I do agree that it’s stressful trying to fin that right angle. Or you have this idea that you think will be amazing, you put it all together, take the pic, and it looks awful. It’s nerve racking!

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14 Tammy January 5, 2010 at 3:26 am

I do the exact same thing, and when I DO take pictures they turn out yellow or too dark etc.
I actually took some pictures of my kids at a pumpkin patch last year, and before I could upload them to my computer, my camera got busted.

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15 Emilye January 5, 2010 at 7:41 am

I can relate. We recently took a 5-hr drive to visit with DH’s relatives, whom we haven’t seen in 5 yrs. I packed my camera, but do you think I took it out of my suitcase in the motel room when we went to Uncle Dale’s house?

NO-O-O! And there were some great photo ops, too. The only reason I’m not completely beating myself up over it is b/c DH’s Uncle Gene did take a few shots for me on his cell phone.

Maybe we should make a NY’s resolution to do better about using our cameras, lol!

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16 Idaho Jill January 5, 2010 at 9:56 am

I am EXACTLY the same way. I berate myself for missing out on my daughter’s childhood, then I go crazy & take tons of pictures in one afternoon – and then don’t take any again for weeks or a month. I also bring the camera with me & don’t use it…I, too, need to work on that!

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17 Shannon (The Mommy-Files) January 5, 2010 at 10:47 am

Awww…what a bummer! At least you wrote about it on your blog though, so the memory will still be there :)

I usually have my camera buried in my purse and can’t get to it in time. There have been many times where another mom has asked me to take a picture and send it to her – lol! I don’t mind at all :)

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18 Heather January 5, 2010 at 12:33 pm

When I first started taking photos I didn’t like it and I thought I took terrible shots too. Truth is, 90 % of the shots I take still are terrible. That’s why I take perhaps 100 or more at, say, the zoo. If you take that many photos, you’re bound to get at least one that’s good. BUT- you have to get the camera out and start shooting!

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19 Erica January 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I love the whole llamas on leashes…sounds like a doctor Seuss book. You sound so much like me. I didn’t take any pictures on Christmas Eve. I was so caught up in watching my children play and open presents…and then the moment was gone and I only had a few pictures that other family members captured.

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20 Joe January 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm

I know EXACTLY what you mean, I can’t take a great shot for the LIFE of me – I always assume when I do get a halfway decent shot, that someone else (and they most likely could have) would have gotten a better one. A different feel to it, that would’ve made it a better picture.
BUT! I started just taking a bunch of shots anyways. Randoms, sometimes 30-40 of one small event (a ‘look’ on my daughters face) And even though I go overboard, I find it has helped me (in small ways) to know MY camera a little better. The best time to click the button to get a shot, the kind of light that looks best with MY camera. So my advice to you would be “Go Overboard!” Become Snap happy, you can always delete unwanted pictures later, but you also find in all those photos will be 2 or 3 great usable ones, perfect for scrap booking, enlarging, whatever you want to do with them. I promise, it will work :D

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21 debi b January 6, 2010 at 1:43 am

Oh no! I never would’ve guessed this about you!
I am so so so addicted to taking photos that my family makes fun of me. (I have photos of everything). I’m not a great photographer. I would love to be, but I’m not.
Don’t let it stop you. Just take pics because they’re you’re kids and you will want that for them for the memories. (nothing makes me sadder than knowing my older kids have SO few photos less than my younger kids because I didn’t have digital back then and couldn’t afford film.)
Do it for fun, not for perfect :)

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22 Adrienne January 6, 2010 at 11:41 am

As a second child there are not as many photos of me. I say that I am going to take lots of photos of my kids, once we have them, but I can’t even get in the habit now of taking photos now, even when I do have my camera with me.

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23 celticpeacebh January 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm

please be kind to your mommy soul and give yourself some grace. you love your kids and want to savor every moment, even when it has gingerly slipped into the future, right? so, learn how to use the basic preset modes on your camera and how to frame your most-adorable subjects ( i’ll bet your dear twin sis would love to help you here…) and get snappin’!! You get to remember the good times for ever and your kids will love to see pictures of themselves!! I PROMISE they won’t criticize the artistic value of anything!!

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