Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Everybody has one. How do YOU see photography?

Do you strive for that "picture perfect" shot and get upset at the smudge of peanut butter on his face? Are you always trying new and unique styles and spending hours in post-production? Artsy? Happy? Picture perfect? Do you just wish people would "smile and say cheese" already? Have you thought of permanently attaching your camera strap to your shoulder or is it only pulled out for birthdays and Christmas?

Since I am one of those mommies who can't seem to keep up with a baby book (the littles don't even have them, poor things) or scrapbook (too much of a mess to get out during nap times), my camera is what I have to make sure I remember all of those moments: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the just plain boring.

However, photolosophies have their ramifications. Those who don't take many pictures may look back with regret. Those who like their kids looking at them may end up with kids who either "cheese out" when they see a camera or run away screaming. People like me loath the idea of buying yet another storage device for their thousands of photos, and yet can't seem to get rid of any more of them.

My photos? I want them to tell the story of our lives. The ins and outs of our days complete with nose picking, fighting, tree climbing, as well as the softer side of life with five boys in the house. Adopting this photolosophy, however, can be tricky. It means not worrying about what food is on their face or in what manner they are dressed. The "perfect" shot or pose is sacrificed for what comes from being free from constant posing. It also means you may have a hard time when searching for those post-placement adoption report photos to find a nice picture that says "yes, I do keep my kids clean and happy."

I want to shoot the truth of our lives. I want to shoot to tell a story. I want to shoot to remember. I want to shoot for the beauty that is and not the beauty that "should" be.
There are some tricks I have learned in this photolosophy. Things I try to abide by.

1. Strictly limit the amount of time you talk to your kids about taking their photos.

2. Restrain yourself from "fixing" something in the photo before you take it.

3. Know how to love a photo (like the one above) even when it is aesthetically unpleasing and poor composition.

4. Carry on normal conversation (including mild discipline) in the middle of taking pictures.

5. Take your camera EVERYwhere.

6. As you are taking pictures, enjoy that which you are taking a picture of.

7. (perhaps the most important) Know when to put your camera down.

What is YOUR photolosophy? Why do you take pictures? And what tips do you have to share?


Sheri said...

Sadly, I am the kind that take a camera only out for holidays and then only if I remember! I love it though that you have one strapped to you all the time. I love your phototosophy - I love your life!

Sheri said...

Is he ACTUALLY peeing on my tree?! Next thing you know they'll be peeing on the sidewalk....

Ana said...

I have one photolosophy: capture the moment.
I love looking at your pictures Jodi. I see happy little boys. Little boys who aren't scared to get dirty. Little boys who are blossoming into these wonderful personalities that God has given them. And the only reason why I know that is because of the pictures you present :) One of my favorite quotes from a poem is, "Perfection never was a requirement, although some might say we desired it." God has blessed you with four little pieces of perfection. Thanks so much for sharing them via blog and photos!

Janine the Bean said...

I have always loved the way you capture life Jodi. Because it does just that...shows your life -- good and bad. Sometimes I get caught up in the shadow on the face or the fact that I want to go back and edit things, but I'm strive, as you say, to capture what IS.

You (and take this as a compliment) have caused me to rethink my "style" and made me pick up my camera to capture the pouting (and even the peeing).

All that said, I do pose my kids at times. However, in the posing moments, they don't really cooperate.

But that's okay.

I love seeing you discipline while shooting photos. It always cracks me up.


Great post.

JPB said...


Kellie said...

nice post Jodi. A good reminder to stop and think why we take pictures and what our goal is. I'm not really sure what my style is yet. I'm still trying to figure it out :)

Janine the Bean said...

I agree with Jon...


Coraly said...

mine...please oh please God help me not drop the camera, spill juice on or leave out in the rain...if and only if I can do those three simple things then I have found satisfaction in my photo's....
really I am not sure why i was ever trusted to have my new camera!

The Singlers said...

Jodi (and Janine) you guys have caused me to rethink my ideas of picture taking - just to take random pictures and just go with it. Some of my best pictures of the girls have happened that way. I too am trying to take pictures of just life - everyday normal stuff - especially since we have grandparents that live far away.

Thanks for inspiring me.

Sheri said...

for those of you who don't know - Max was found peeing on my sidewalk and Jodi, well, let's just way "she couldn't believe her eyes"! Hence the earlier comment.