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.
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!
Originally Posted by ted_smith
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?"
We get presents?!
Originally Posted by cliveh
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!)
Don't worry. After about twenty six years it gets a little bit easier.
26 years after what - having a kid, or the vascectomy?
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
Whoa! You had three boys all at once? As Nancy Reagan once said "stop the madness!"
Originally Posted by Vaughn
Remember this, if you think it gets better as they grow older:
The trouble with a kitten is that,
Eventually, it becomes a cat!