Aint’ Nothing Like It
Tiny humans are magical. I don’t mean that in a unicorn way, but rather in a fresh, new way. I really, really enjoy tiny humans. You can see in their eyes the new world gleaming. It always makes me wonder what they must be thinking. I learn from them. I get really close and study them like a new species. They reach out, grab my hair or try to put their tiny fingers in my eye. I learn from them about seeing the world for the first time.
You might be thinking, “Okay wait, you are shooting a nine-month-old human with a Hasselblad?” Yes. I know, this is NOT the easy road. While wonderful, the 503CW film Hasselblad is not my fastest option. The easy road would have been 5D Mark II, autofocus and zoom lens. Me no likey.
For me this is the ultimate challenge and is in part what keeps me interested. I can’t talk to this little one. I mean I did, but it just bounced off. I sang to her which had slightly more impact, but she was on tiny human autopilot and you just have to roll with it. I’m not looking for 300 images, just looking for a few that count.
Throw in the tiny dog and you are lowering the capture rate even further. A bad thing you say? No. More challenging. Me likey. You know at some point you will have to wipe the lens, both from dog slobber and tiny human slobber, but hey, that is the rough and tumble world of the kid photographer. I can take it. And dog slobber has magic healing powers. Not sure if you knew that.
At one point, I shot 12 straight frames as fast as I could focus and wind. They were all in focus, and all displayed this tiny human in varying moods and facial features. I practice with this camera and am committed to using it, which is easy to do when you bring little else. Again, I like doing this to challenge myself, and force myself to not fall back upon what is easiest. You don’t have to change cameras or shoot film to challenge yourself. You can do it with anything. It is more mental than physical.
If you shoot kids or weddings you are in the repeat world of photography. As a magazine photographer I rarely found myself in the same situation twice. As a newspaper photographer I found myself in the same position a fair amount, or doing the same assignment two years in a row. It’s EASY to fall back into the routine world, far more challenging to look upon a situation with new, fresh eyes like the tiny human in front of your lens.