A Plea for Partners (Hint: if you hate photos of yourself, share this with your partner!)
Is it too much to ask that y’all take good photos of us once in a while? We all want to stay in the photos, but quite frankly, not only do I want to be in photos with my child (this seems like a bare minimum request, by the way) but I’d also like to look back on photos and think, aw, we both looked so cute! Not, aw, my child was so cute but what is that FACE I’m making? We’re not using print film anymore here; there’s no reason not to hit that iPhone button more than once to try and get a decent shot.
Like really. These requests are not, I think, that much to ask of a person who’s had just as many years to practice taking decent photos of people as I have.
Behold, partners, my list of demands on behalf of everyone who’s had the unfortunate experience of looking through a day’s worth of photos to find it’s most just one disaster after another:
A photo with my (lovely!) head not cropped out of the top of the frame.
A photo where my thigh isn’t the star of the photo.
Maybe a photo where I’m smiling, not in a goofy way, and my kid is also smiling, and also not in a goofy way. I will cut you some slack on the kid’s goofy face, but I’m very biddable as a model; I’m not that hard to pin down!
A photo where I’m not right smack-dab in the middle of blinking, please?!
Look, we all take bad photos sometimes. We all goof up, we all snap the shutter when someone’s blinking or sneezing or making a goofy face. It happens. But other times, I think something else is at work; maybe we get so caught up in capturing a moment that we forget we’re trying to capture the essence of a person. I know when I look at photos of my daughter and I, I don’t particularly care about what we were doing. If we’re sharing a milkshake, it’s not the milkshake I’m caring about in the photo. I care about the love that exists between us, and that’s what I want a photo to show; a mother and daughter together, enjoying each other’s company. I don’t care much about the scenery or the activity. Focus on us. Focus on the human beings and the togetherness they’re sharing right in this moment, and less on whatever it is the people you’re photographing are doing (I mean, unless it’s like, taming a velociraptor or whatever).
So my plea to partners is this: look at the people you love, and try to capture them as human beings in the photos you take. If you do this, instead of trying to just dutifully take photos of People Doing Things, I swear, you’ll probably start taking photos that make your partner beam.
And please make sure their head isn’t cropped out of the photo. I mean, come on y’all.