Should We Stop Shooting Our Children?

Vanity is my favorite sin. – Devil’s Advocate

Have you ever heard of KGOY or Kids Grow Older Younger? And do you know one of its causes? According to what the NYTimes.com article Why We Should Take Fewer Pictures of Our Children implies, the digital camera is to blame and I can’t help but agree. Shooting photos of kids has escalated from what was once just a fad to a regular sight. We see this almost every day, everywhere, any time: kids striking a pose in front of the camera whether in front of their parents or done on their own. It would have been fine if these are innocent poses but there are already those we see masquerading, unknowingly I hope, sensual or offensive gestures obviously influenced by what they see on TV or in print materials such as the glossy magazines.

Thanks (but not thanks) to the availability and affordability of gadgets, this addiction of kids to the camera in any form, whether through a mobile phone, a point-and-shoot, or an entry-level DSLR, became very irresistible. Plus the lure of social media, such as facebook and Twitter, or photo-sharing applications such Instagram and Flickr have made taking and posting pictures online a must-do activity for both parents and kids.

So is this frequent photoshoot of your kids destructive in the long run? Well, in my opinion, it depends – though for sure it’s annoying to some of your facebook friends if you keep on flooding their timeline especially with not so attractive pictures. For some, it’s one way of relieving the longing of their love ones who are away from them – like lolos and lolas. And for others, it could be another medium of boosting their child’s confidence. But whatever the reasons are, I acknowledge that it is about time we realize that we need to do everything in moderation including exposure of our kids to the camera. Let us make them live the moments without any worries if they appear good in the pictures of not. Let them be just kids, not little wannabee models.

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Our own kid is actually among these little models. I still remember the night when we passed by Roxas Boulevard in Manila and we noticed Marcus, who was just barely 2-year old then, staying still and smiling at every headlight, and even lamp posts, outside our taxi cab. We soon realized that it must be because he thinks these bright lights are camera flashes that he has gotten used to seeing as we have been pointing a camera at him since he was still a small baby. His fascination with these flashes continued until about a few months after that but nowadays it has stopped. He has, however, transitioned to doing the check-chin pose and some other weird facial expressions. Ti abi.

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Mood: 5/10 Honks! (Going to a car dealer to have our car’s headlight checked.)

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Photo Loco

I can’t think of a better title for today’s blog but this. It’s like any other hobbies I previously had that once I had my mind set on it I can’t help but fidget to satisfy the urge. I’ve seen myself before running around the house like in a CQB (Close Quarter Battle) setting. I’ve seen myself aim the fishing rod on an imaginary fish pond while I’m on the sofa. I’ve played with my wife badminton despite the low ceiling and short space at home. And right now, me and my IXUS are best buds.

Just after yesterday’s photography class closing ceremony, I’ve been seeing lots of things in a very different perspective already. It’s like one of those days when my mind is so full of things that I’d be walking almost absent-mindedly while simultaneously running several tasks at once – multitasking, that is, in geek terms.

And also since yesterday, that my addiction to shoot people, objects – both animated and still, scenery, etcetera cannot be denied. At one point, I actually caught myself talking with some of my colleagues but with my mind wandering around and wondering what angle can I shoot them to show their best side – not to be misinterpreted as if most of them hasn’t got one. Hahaha. Come to think of it it’s a challenge of some sort.

I also had the temptation to spend some extra time at the parking lot after work, with the intention to capture car trail lights. Good thing I still had some sanity (and self respect) to avoid it. Or I could have been seen suspiciously crawling on the parking ground with my IXUS mounted on the 3-inch tripod and pointed at the parking exit.

Reaching home didn’t help either. I entered the gate with my mind thinking about how the gate grills will appear in the morning. And upon nearing the door with my wife greeting with a smile, made me recall if portraits are meant to be captured with an evaluative or center-weighted metering mode – although I know that she’ll appear good whatever the setting is anyway. Ti abi.

That didn’t stop right there. As dinner time did not escape my “photo adrenaline” rush as well. Imagine a 5-year old kid appearing to help arrange the table with nothing but play in mind. I was like that. Last night the red table mats’ lines appeared as if begging to be shot. The buttered bread’s color and texture details just can’t be ignored. Of course, not shooting the mouth-watering pasta was just mortal sin that time. Fortunately, I was stuffed by the end of the meal that shooting the food morsels was spared.

The table mat on macro.

The table mat on macro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know when this photography interest revival will end. But for now I’m just full of ideas that if I’d be left alone even at the parking lot, I’d be very busy come rain or shine – although I prefer the latter. So to my friends, colleagues, web network contacts, please bear with me if I’d be speaking about f-stops, lighting sources, perspectives or resolutions in the next days to come. And lastly, expect me to be as pesky as a fly as I’d be all over you in the name of photography. Hahahaha.

Disclaimer. This blog by the way does not promise quality pictures – this one remains yet to be seen. Hahahaha.

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Other evidences of being photo loco:

Despite my bulging and stuffed stomach, I pressed on with shooting my wifes cross-stitch yarns. Much to her annoyment.

After dinner, despite my bulging and stuffed stomach, I pressed on with shooting my wife's cross-stitch yarns - much to her annoyance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ditched the brewed coffee over the instant Nescafe this morning just to see how the flames under the kettle will appear.

I ditched the brewed coffee over the instant Nescafe this morning just to see how the flames under the kettle will appear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never have I been so interested in cooking ingredients. This is an onion, right?

Never have I been so interested in cooking ingredients. This is an onion, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me, loco?

Me, loco?

Mother of Re-invention

I was trying to catch up on my multiply.com friends (I already had 90 unread updates) and once again I became curious on what’s new in the lomo world. Unfortunately nothing has been updated as I back track the site of an online buddy. It must have something to do with film developing time (?).

Since I’ve known digital photography and had eventually become an enthusiast or more aptly a fan, the discovery (thru time-killing-googling) of the lomo world never fails to fascinate me. I always wonder who in their right mind would buy an old film camera, spend money, of course, on films and then take the pain to queue at the developing centers and go back to get it at least an hour later. Some of the reasons I can think of are: they have friends in that store, they own the store, they haven’t heard of digital cameras yet. Cost is not in my list. Some of the old film cameras are more expensive than their digital counterparts.

Once again the questions linger. “Why lomo? Why not buy a digital camera instead? What’s the catch?”

Soon after I realized that embracing the old stuffs is not new (pun intended). There are things such as retro, new wave (ironically this genre is already old music), vintage, classic…and yes, lomo. If necessity is the mother of invention, then scarcity is the mother of re-invention – either of which will bring profits to the inventor and “re-inventor.” Moolah.

Some people are just born to sense that something is becoming scarce (and still needed) and have the ability to make the most out of it. And I’m not talking about hoarders. I’m talking about those people who value their things well and still believe in its potential. For lomo, it’s the potential to bring the feeling of nostalgia. It’s the potential to break away from the rules of photography.

That’s what I find good about lomo. It technically doesn’t have any rules. It’s photography’s “rebel without a cause.” And these cameras are deceiving. That is, they look like your typical yaya’s day-off cam but it can capture good photos if you know how to deal with it.

x15 kodakIt’s funny but I actually tried looking for our old rusty film camera at home (while on vacation on Dec ’07) thinking that I can still use it. My excitement died down when I discovered that it uses a film that made the photo center sales lady smile when I inquired about it. She must be thinking I’m from out of this world. Ti abi. I think I’ll have to get my dose of lomo from those who are into it already just like I leave my craving for digital quality shots to my DSLR-addicted friends.