Photography After Kids - Part Two: observations, thoughts.
One of my first posts here was to ask about how people combined photography with having kids. What prompted this was comments made to my wife by her colleagues. I had given my wife some photos to show them and the feedback was along the lines of 'lovely snaps but just you wait until you have kids'. They said the same thing to my wife about her piano playing; 'after kids you'll give it all up'. I can't find my original post on that topic, however, last October my wife gave birth to our little boy and I'm just writing some observations on photography after kids.
- - I'm shooting more, I have a new subject who doesn't complain.
- - I'm shooting fast film because he's fast and often indoors, I'll really miss the look of Neopan 1600.
- - I've had no problem fitting in developing film, I just work at the sink in the evening.
- - It took around 7 months before I could get into the darkroom to print.
- - Today I printed in colour and I'm extremely happy that my paper is ok - I haven't used it for 12 months.
- - Likewise, I used RA4 chemistry that was mixed up 12 months ago and stored in pop bottles, it worked fine.
- - When I'm out I have to work fast to get a shot, out little man won't wait.
- - Everything is against the clock and I've written some rather curt messages & emails because of this - my apologies if I've done the same here.
- - In all, there is photography after kids (maybe better photography), I wonder why my wife's colleagues quit their passions after their kids were born...
Neopan 1600, apologies for the glare.
... and it gets better. At some point you'll start shooting with long lenses to photograph the action in kiddie baseball, soccer, basketball, cricket... or whatever the little guy gets interested in. Enjoy!
I'd add it gets better too. It's a very family friendly hobby. The kids enjoy the attention of the participating in photography as subjects. They enjoy photo/exercise outings with me. They enjoy playing in the water in the darkroom. (don't let them be in presence of the chemicals unsupervised of course) There's more social activities involving their friends families, etc.. I've made some nice photos along the road after dropping her off at school in the morning that I would never have been in the right place / right time otherwise. If you've got studio strobes, you can light the whole room and not depend on fast/pushed film.
As far as women and photography go, I've seen lots of women quickly improve latent photography talent as a mother because they've got a great subject now.
Hobbies that require being away from home a lot could suffer, such as traveling to concerts, etc... Travel photography could, but there is plenty to photograph within my normal daily routes.
That is certainly the case in my family. My wife knows virtually nothing about photography (except "you press the button and we'll do the rest") yet she can use the worst camera on earth and create stunning pictures of our kids. I find it very embarasing when I take a bad shot with my "pro" gear... especially when she asks me to remind her how much I spent buying that gear!
Originally Posted by jp498
Just wait until he gets old enough to play sports. You are going to need some long lenses if you don't own some all ready!
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I agree with all of the above.
As for piano -- what the ****? Kids love the arts -- all of them! The little guy will probably be working out his own "tunes" in pretty short order.
I remember Saturday afternoons during the summer when I was a boy. After finishing yard work and other weekend stuff, my dad could often be found at the piano with a can of beer, playing rhythm and blues and jazz. There was always music in the house. We kids played in school music programs. Our mom was a craftswoman and artist. And she took us to the library and encouraged us to read.
Play your cards right, you won't have to give anything up that means anything to you. If you have a little less time on your hands sometimes, just switch off the ****ing TV. The kid doesn't need it anyway....
Our two daughters are grown up and left home.I found that it wasn't the kids that stopped hobbies,but the pressure of work and relatives (illness etc.).
In the UK, you have to be careful about photographing kids these days (which is sad), but it must not stop you, otherwise you will have no record of all those precious moments (speaking from experience here!)
When I started my own business, it was very successful, but I ended up working 120+ hours a week.
It was brou8ght home to me when my wife said 'Lisa has got her bronze'
I said 'bronze in what?'
'Tap and dance'
'When did she start them?'
'six months ago!!!!'
It was then that I decided that money wasn't everything and closed my business and worked for a company and had weekends and evenings with the family!
If anything, photography begins with having children. I didn't take it up until my boys (twins) were about seven. I'm sorry I waited so long. I envy you being a seasoned photographer and having a new child.
Funny, when I read this thread, I thought it would be about photography after the kids leave home. That's been on my mind a lot lately. Mine will start college next year. No more willing (even if begrudginly) subjects at a moment's notice. There's always my wife, I suppose.
HAHAH! The title really made me laugh. If you consider the insane thoughts that run through peoples' heads when you have a camera and take one photo of a child.. it's unbelieveable... I had some woman accuse me of being a "child molester" because I had a camera around my neck.
I think it'd be rather hard to molest a child with a camera, not that I'd try...
At that point I promptly told her to shut her mouth and back away from my car, especially since if she didn't, I really didn't want my kids to see what I might do to her with that camera I had in my hand.. Sure, it may have been a Leica IIIa, but I've heard they're built like tanks..
Anyway more in line with the thread... My hat is off to you as bvy mentioned above, being a "seasoned" photographer, and having a new child. I never got completely into photography until my son was 2 and I had another on the way.
Now I have more photos of the two of them than photos of anything else.
I have incorportated their daily lives into "practice," as I call it, of taking images of children, whether at play, or actually having my screens setup and lamps and strobes...
I would love to centre my studio around the photographing of children, as you don't have to force a child into a position, as they have a habit of just striking a pose that is 100% them. Nothing fake about the way they act, or how they will be portrayed in the photo..
heck, as a "Pagan Holiday with a tall decorated tree that Shall not Be Mentioned" gift, I took a few portraits of my sister's kids, with an odd digital shot in there, but the majority was on Kodak Ektar 100 and Rollei Retro 80s in my Bronica.
They all turned out quite lovely too!
Definitely something to try next year, except this time I'll try it more with my Studio camera (4x5 Monorail).
Keep it up! I can't imagine giving up my passion just because I have kids. Heck, it's the kids that have fueled my passion even more!
APS, 35mm, 120, 4x5 and a Deardorff & Sons 4x5 Special under restoration.
I don't care the format, as long as it's film!
Flickr Pages - Here
Blogs - Here
I sure did a lot of photography when our kids were home. Baby, child, sports, band, dance, shooting, motorcycles - everything they did was documented. Now that they are grown and have their spouses and kids, I let them do the family documentary, and I trend more to the fine art stuff. Of course, the grandkids cause a lot of film to be used too.
My Wife's interest was as a seamstress. She made beautiful ball gowns and such. With the kids, she just incorporated kids clothes in the mix. We never thought of dropping our interests, we just accommodated the kids in them.