Day 103: Visiting Grandma

... in place of the photos I’d like to take, a quick snapshot from my phone (which was sitting in my lap)...a random angle without a flash in a dark room, and still my favorite photo from today
These days when I have my camera, most often I photograph children who aren't aware or don't care that I’m taking pictures. That's probably why I take so many photos of kids. It's who I spend much of my time with, but also they aren't worried about how they look or what they're wearing or what other people will see the pictures. Sometimes I wish more people were like that. This evening as Israel and I were visiting with Grandma I was wishing I had a camera and could take a couple photographs without her becoming self conscious or even paying attention to what I was doing.

Within a few square feet there are so many details you wouldn't see anywhere but right here in this room: her mason jar full of partly melted ice and a spoon sitting always within arm’s reach, the contraption made out of dishtowels draped over the arm of her chair to keep the essential remote & phone close at hand, her recently adopted cat with the crooked tail rubbing against her feet, the card table next to her with the boarders of a puzzle starting to take shape but which she doubts she'll go back to finish.

Sometimes I think I take the photos so I don't forget small things like these. Partly, I know that's true. But the more time I spend taking photos, the better I become at noticing and remembering the details. I often have people ask me if I miss out on what’s happening when I’m taking pictures. I think it’s exactly the opposite. I think I pay better attention. I see more. I forget less. Still, most of the time I’m in a good place, one that’s worth remembering, not everyone one I wish could be there is. Or I realize my kids are so small that I don’t think they’re paying attention to the same things now that they’ll wonder about in ten years.  I also take photos to capture moments we might want to revisit.  It’s a powerful thing the way an image can freeze a small moment of time.

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