Kids - nobody told me it would be this hard...on me or my photography trips!

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by ted_smith, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    I feel wounded.

    I'm blessed to have my two young kids - at one point we thought we wouldn't be able to have any. But my god, they're sapping the life out of me. Pre-kids, I used to go to work all week and then get up early at the weekends with my cameras and try and capture some early morning shots out in the great outdoors. I loved it - the morning air, the peace, the sounds of nature and of course the light. But these days (one 4 year old, one 1.5 yrs old), I'm that exhausted at the end of a day that the prospect of ruining my sleep-in the next day (and by sleep-in, I mean 07:00...no later than that unfortunately, no matter what the day of the week is) to get out and capture some photos just doesn't do it anymore. I can't fatham the strength.

    I feel that with the exception of holiday periods, my days of adventure are behind me...at least until they are old enough to come with me and trek 15 miles. So about another 9 years then!

    :errm:
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Welcome to parenthood!
     
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    p.s. There are so many great things about kids. The secret is re-establishing the priorities! Welcome to parenthood!
     
  4. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I doesn't get any easier Ted when they get older, and when they become teenagers they'll tell you brought them up all wrong, but you never stop being a parent and worrying about them no matter how old they get, our sons are middle aged and we still worry.
     
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  5. rbultman

    rbultman Subscriber

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    Sleep is overrated. There will plenty of time to sleep when you are dead. Until then, it sounds like you have the opportunity to work on your candid shots and decisive moment photography. Take as many as you can, because they are like sunsets. Those fun years will be gone before you know it. Enjoy them.
    Sent from my PI86100 using Board Express
     
  6. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    I've got a beautiful daughter, born 6 weeks ago. Since then, she's been with me on a couple of short photography outings. Instead of my usual remote country landscape shots we went to places nearer the car. Beaches are good too - I'm planning a small series on a beach in the northwest highlands over the coming year, to be printed platinum if all goes according to plan. Easy walk in, and my wee beauty will be with me...

    I've already got her infant carrier rucsac adapted to carry a tripod. From about 6 months time, it'll be longer walks - me, Ishbel, my trusty Mamiya 7. And a ready supply of nappies etc too...!
     
  7. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Get a big dog. Grind your coffee the night before, lay out your pack and clothes. Then go out Saturday at 5:30 AM on tip-toes.

    You've easily got till 11 AM before anybody really misses you...
     
  8. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    My youngest is a junior in college. My middle child is married and lives 6 hours away. My oldest lives in New Zealand. If we didn't have skype, my wife and I would only get to see her once every other year. I really miss those days when all three children were underfoot, interrupting my sleep, demanding my time, keeping me from going out to photograph. Oh, well, hopefully it won't be too long until I have grandchildren to spoil. I understand grandchildren make great subjects to photograph.
     
  9. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    Ha, yep, my portrait shots have increased exponentially since having kids. It's generally easier (and often better!) to photograph their faces than it is a landscape.

    I love having them...don't get me wrong. When I posted earlier, I'd had an entire day of constant whines, cries and whinges and I reminiced for a moment of when I shot landscapes often in the peace. But I wouldn't change it for the world.

    As for a dog - I used to have three! I took them out with me on my adventures. Unfortunately, they have all since died. The attached was the last to go - my 16 year old cross-lab\setter. Died in the summer :-(

    42040002.jpg
     
  10. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    A good quote I heard is that with kids you are always living in the present.
     
  11. ccross

    ccross Member

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    Happy parenthood!

    I can't help but smile, not for your struggles, but for the club you are joining. Kids are amazing, they are my greatest source of inspiration and frustration. My daughter is finishing high school this year and my son is a few years behind.

    Years of trekking them through the bush and (to my wifes chagrin) up mountain paths, caves etc. have given them a special appreciation for dads 'alone' time. I think / hope it has shown them that it is okay in this world to disconnect from the facetwitterbookingnmess that surrounds us (oops is my bias showing).

    The vision definitely changes when kids are introduced into the picture, but it never goes away.

    Good luck!

    Craig
     
  12. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Oh boy, can't I empathise with you Ted! Thankfully mine are now 9 and 7, so they do have some self independance. While they are still up at 7 every morning, they can do most things to keep themselves entertained and (for breakfast anyway) fed.

    What you need to do is still make time to do some things that you want to do. For instance, I have gotten myself into a bit of a lazy rut, simply because it was too hard to do anything without boring or upsetting the family. This morning, I decided to get up at 5, take some photos (basically ANYTHING ) and I was home by 8. The wife was still in bed, the kids were watching TV and eating cereal. My girls didn't know I had even gone out!
     
  13. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    Ted,

    As the father of three boys (who can just flat wear me out) I can totally sympathize. Children can be exhausting, and combining that with the compulsion we all feel as photographers to just shootshootshoot all the time, you are left feeling, well, wounded, as you said. We all want to be out there in the world living through the camera. Anything that prevents us from doing so, we resent.

    Honestly, you have a lot on your plate now, and stressing over not being able to shoot is not going to help you or your wife or your kids. You are probably going to have several down years of photography.

    Robert Adams once mentioned in an interview that he hadn't photographed in several years due to work on his books. But he was still a photographer, obviously. You can either hit the pause button, or you can hit the quit button. You're in a space where you will need to hit the pause button or certainly slow down and find what you need to photograph much closer to home. In the last two decades of his life, Paul Strand made the most incredible flower and garden studies in his own backyard. Maybe it's time to start working on still lifes!

    The other thing I would suggest is to get those photography and art books off the shelf, read them deeply, and learn more about the history of photography. You can work that way and still be educating your eye and your mind, so when the time becomes available, you are ready to move forward quickly. Sometimes not shooting can be clarifying if it gives you time to contemplate new ideas. We can all compulsively burn through some film; sometimes we don't spend enough time thinking about why we do it.

    Being that my boys are now 12, 9, and 5, I am in that later phase where I can carve out blocks of time to work on the photography. Just this week, several really fortuitous circumstances have aligned on a project that I've had in mind for several years. It's about to explode out of my head and onto the paper, so to speak.

    So, don't sweat it, just enjoy the time with the kids because you'll turn around in ten years and say "holy crap, where did all the time go?"

    Parker
     
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  15. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I have a 5 year old girl and am currently on holiday in Kyoto Japan. She walked 9 hours with the rest of the family as we explored the entire east side of the city. Raise them right (my daughter keeps begging me for a film camera) and they will amaze you.
     
  16. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Very very very true!
     
  17. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    We get presents?!

    It can be frustrationg, but one just has to go with the flow...

    My three boys turn 16 years old next month. As a stay-at-home dad who works halftime, it was a challenge to get out. Since I use an 8x10, I would take the boys for a walk in the redwoods, little packs for them with their lunches, and me with 60 pounds of camera gear. I'd find something to photograph, break out the lunches, and while the boys ate, I'd take my one shot of the day. Too many creeks, etc to trust them to run around while I had my head under the darkcloth. Eventually as they got older, I could photograph while they ran around and explored.

    The boys became part of my photography...learning to hold still for up to two minutes (started them out at around 30 seconds when they were almost 5 years old). Now it is difficult to get them to go out with me -- too much homework, sports and all that.

    This was a 2 minute exposure, New Years Day, 2008. The boys would have been getting close to 11 yrs old.

    Three Brothers, Three Snags
    Scanned Carbon Print

    And a couple more -- an earlier one (about 8 or 9 years old, on a root wad -- scanned platinum print), and then their first Mother's Day (a few weeks old -- got to start them out young!)
     

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  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Don't worry. After about twenty six years it gets a little bit easier.


    Steve.
     
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    26 years after what - having a kid, or the vascectomy?
     
  20. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    Whoa! You had three boys all at once? As Nancy Reagan once said "stop the madness!"
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Remember this, if you think it gets better as they grow older:

    The trouble with a kitten is that,
    Eventually, it becomes a cat!

    Ogden Nash

    PE
     
  22. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    My little one just turned 3 last week. He can tire out groups of people at once, but he is entertaining at times. I, too, get very frustrated at not being able to go out when I want rather than on the schedule of the house. I'm thinking of starting to take him out in the woods with me (and likely no camera at first) this summer. I don't have any answers, but I can sympathize!
     
  23. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    It's all worth it. My other hobby is amateur radio astronomy and I basically gave it up when my daughter was born.... maybe I'll get back to it when I retire. Meanwhile, priorities! My daughter is 11 now and she's interested enough in photography that she'll go with me or at least put up with me! We spent the whole day today driving over to the central valley to look at some Sandhill Cranes and because there was a tree I wanted to photograph. Yes it's exhausting but enjoy it... the last 10 years sure went by fast!!
     
  24. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    When I was 7 my Dad took me camping for the first time, made me carry my own backpack with sleeping bag and supplies, about half way up I asked if he could carry the pillow I brought as I had been overzealous about what I "needed" so he took that but made me hike with the pack. We made it, it was probably 2 miles up, I've been there since as an adult it took me 1 hour but as a kid it felt like all day. Point is, even young kids can do it they just have to be taught early to carry their own weight then they can come with you :smile: so, just 2-3 more years and you're golden :smile:
     
  25. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    I do not know why I am still here after formally submitting my name for deletion. I deemed myself a divisive character who strayed from topic to editorial. Unbeffiting a site with folks of the caliber I have met on here. But this thread has opened the door for me to toss in my 2 cents. I never had kids. I knew I would spend my life strangling schoolteachers for their indoctrination agenda. I trust the more conservative among you know what I mean by this. The schools here in the south were hijacked by federal judges in 1971 and are nothing but indoctrination centers ever since. How can a parent fight this and keep his child thinking right? The answer is obvious-- YOUR kids become THEIRS, and they're lost forever into the world of lunatic Liberal absurdity. Better to have never had them than to have them and have them hi-jacked and estranged. The schools in this part of the US are a third-world hodgepodge 98%. Not like the Leave-it-to-Beaver school life I had. Just laugh folks. I have a great energy channel. I make reel-to-reel tape recorders work PERFECT. And I LEARN better photography from these great fellows. Regards, friends.
     
  26. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Now is the time to take on the mantle of documentary photographer. Record all of the special moments that will only happen once in a lifetime. I'm glad I did. The albums are full of the memories I can scarcely remember now that they are grown and have families of their own.