Friday, December 10, 2010

When Mom Brain Strikes The Photographer

My bag needed to be packed. His first school performance was just an hour away.

Which lens? Flash? No flash?

I wasn't even certain where he'd be performing. The auditorium? The gym? I had no idea what the light was like in either.

I've helped so many moms with these decisions before. It was always so easy.

  • Choose your fastest lens. Go with the 50mm if you have it.
  • Bump up your ISO. 
  • Watch that your shutter speed is around 1/125th of a second so you stop motion.
  • Shoot in Aperture Priority mode if you need to. 
  • Program is okay if you get flustered. 
  • Get the moment. Don't worry about switching lenses.

Why so hard this time? Why so hard when it was MY KID?

I needed to text all of the moms who've sent me texts and ask, "can you tell me what I told you then? I seem to be losing my mind."

Dad was late home. That didn't help my nerves. One of those things. Try not to react. Tonight is about Ian.

Bag packed. One camera. One flash. My 50mm on the camera. Wide angle packed just in case. Battery charged. Memory card cleared.

Ready.

I walk in the gym. Immediately thought I should have brought the long lens. How will I see his adorable face? Too many people. Can't get close enough. There isn't even anywhere to sit! WHAT am I going to do. This is about Ian. This is about Ian. Just enjoy him.

We take him to prepare with his class for the big moment. When we return to the gym to await his appearance, the gym is clearing out. Perfect. Floor position. Up close. Right in the middle. Ahhh, 50mm won't be wide enough for all of them. Quick swap to wide angle. Meter. Good light. More than I expected. All set.


They arrive. Too cute for words. Big smiles, waves. I take pictures. Stop. I just want to see he his face. Take it all in. But I want to have photos. Snap. Adjust. Why am I adjusting? Shutter speed, what is that? I want pictures. I want to see it all. Ahhhh.

They're done. 5 minutes from entrance to exit. 38 photos. He's all smiles. I put the camera away.

I now understand what it is like to be a mom behind a camera at a school event. Weddings are easier.

9 comments:

mcscraps5 said...

So glad that even the pros have "mom" moments!!

stamphappy2001 said...

So glad you did this post. Made me smile. Isn't it funny how when it is "personal" it feels so much bigger. But I would never think of doing a wedding shoot. too much pressure because it is once and never again.

dille2@cableone.net said...

I agree. Tried to shoot Christmas concert this week. Couldn't sit where he was, suddenly there was a little parade and he walked by but people in front of him. Crazy, got a few but I so agree. Weddings are easier, they WANT their pictures taken!

Tami said...

adorable.. i went to Kyle's christmas concert this week and gave up.. just a few far away shots and enjoyed the music.. it's all you can do sometimes :)

The Grounds Family said...

You have me laughing!! Great shots...I get crappy lighting that there is no way to fix white balance and still can't decide which lens to use!

esther_a said...

Ah, yes! I had trouble recently at an awards night. When my daughter arrived on stage she was standing perfectly behind a microphone stand. Now if I was the wedding photographer I would have stood up and moved. No such luxury being a mother sitting in the audience. All I got was a bunch of crap photos - but they are still memories recorded for ever.

myra said...

Yep. I get that. Done it many times now. Very stressful. :)

Christi said...

Dalyla had her karate graduation on Friday and I took my 28-70mm and my pictures were awful. I got a couple of good ones but I had to use my flash the whole time and I'm not used to using a flash. UGH. Worst photography experience for me so far. LOL

Kimbee said...

LOL.. Katrina you just made my day.. Heck my whole week...Thank you again for sharing the human side of taking family photos..

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