Thursday, October 20, 2011


A smirk forms as I compare this year's meagre blogging output of 9 to last year's whopping 43 posts. The total is directly proportionate to the growth, mobility and energy rate of my son (and the exhaustion factor of his mama).

I miss writing. And often, these days, the only time I can devote is the wee hours of morning. It's 2:59 right now. I'm awake because my son is finally sleeping. Last week it was ear infections, this week fever during the night, several nights in a row, and now, vomiting.

chocolate cake cheeks

I look back through my blog and want to kick myself. My posts have been so infrequent this year, that when I finally put my fingers to keys in the wee hours like this, I end up vomiting myself. On the page. My posts read like long, lazy, badly edited novellas. I need to hone the discipline required to keep it short and sweet and maybe the act of writing a blog post would not prove so overwhelming and demanding of my time! Haven't posted in a while but my blogging friends keep me inspired and I discovered yet another new blog to love this night. 'Bakerbabe'! What a great name and a lovely gal!

Lately, my precious spare time has gone towards exploits primarily photographic than literary. I belong to a club of photographers via flickr and finally met some of them for a drink and to partake in some night streetshooting. This involves approaching actual strangers and asking them if they'd let me shoot 'em. Camera, not gun. Ahem.

Streetshooting: Sacha with his uke

What a wildly intimidating journey for me because I have so very much yet to learn and absorb (about my own camera never mind shooting strangers). The club has some very patient mentors, thankfully, and I took full advantage of some fancy equipment with my Canon. Turned out to be a really fun and informative night. I am so accustomed to shooting inanimate objects in the light I prefer. When it comes to animate, I feel most comfortable capturing my son. He's my easiest, handiest and most compelling subject! A gaggle of lovely, local girlfriends have promised to be my next victims so I can acquire more practice in shooting people. Maybe I can convince some male friends, too. Have yet to purchase some extra equipment (and get my shite together) before that can happen.

Streetshooting: the fun and funky John Q.

Mastering portraiture intrigues me - not the stiff, boring, posed kind, but a far more journalistic snapshot of real people and their real lives. As scary as this latest adventure proved for me, it was also highly eye-opening and rewarding. And it markedly improved my comfort level approaching strangers to snap some photos at a recent birthday party for a friend's daughter. More and more, it's as though my camera is becoming a kind of spare limb extending from my body — something I use to reach out, touch, to embrace everything around me. I am 'owning' it, finally.

Strangers no more: shot two hours after meeting this lovely family.

And as I experiment and explore, it's not only the shutter that clicks, but my relationship to the world around me, new people I meet, Nature. Life. Life can whiz by you. So it's been really great learning to freeze frame some of its more precious moments. And discover people I would not otherwise have had the pleasure of meeting. If there is a belief that a camera can capture someone's soul, then I embrace that thought. When a portrait lacks 'soul', it's just not as captivating, in my opinion.

Connecting, clicking, with other souls on this planet is really the point of all this, right?

Yes, Life flies by much too quickly so here's to longevity! And to moments of brevity and levity, too. So much is worth the capturing via words and lens.

I hope to do it justice.


Carrie Snyder said...

Well, that is a fabulous portrait, hon! Really and truly. I've been missing my 365 project ... not so much missing photographing myself, but missing the every-day-ness of it. It wasn't hard to coordinate, either, just took a small amount of commitment. I'm considering reviving it in the new year. Would love a new lens for close-ups and portraits, and that flash thingy you mentioned to me, too ...

Brian Miller said...

hey great to see your little one is growing!!! so cool on the pics and love that bit on it being your relationship to the world around you and people you meet. i feel the same about writing.

Ellen said...

Ah...when you wrote this:

"More and more, it's as though my camera is becoming a kind of spare limb extending from my body — something I use to reach out, touch, to embrace everything around me. I am 'owning' it, finally."

....I understood fully. I know that feeling too. I also am trying to learn more about my Canon.

Oh your son is beautiful and let him be your muse! Mothering is beyond a full time lifestyle. It demands us and you must surrender to it. Love it and live it, vomit and all! It goes too fast and before you know it he is grown up and you will be taking a new role. Forever in your heart though not always holding your hand.

Hope he is feeling much, much better today.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

So good to see you writing and 'shooting' again...I have found that blogging (a.k.a photo journalism) means that I see the world around me in a different light and like you I also end up meeting people through these stories whom I might have before only wondered I wander about! The time involved in mothering is grand and I your photos of your son show how good you two are with each other. Thanks for visiting...Lovely Lovely photos!

Anonymous said...

Sonshine is growing up so fast! Wowza. I remember vividly those preschool years and the accompanying illnesses. I never, ever had any personal leave time available through my job- I used it all up as sick leave, caring for my daughter for about five years. I thought her immunity would never catch up... it did, it just took a long, long time.

So glad you are exploring the world through your camera. It's a powerful medium (my personal favorite) and has unlimited potential.

You are missed... what if you put a photo up (here) twice a week and just shared a wee story that it evokes or what brought it to be?

Short is sweet and sweet is ahhhhhhh... but I adore your novels. Edited or not, they are yours- and that, my friend, is priceless.

Baker Babe said...

Hey Nancy,
Thanks for the link to my blog, and even huger thanks for the beautiful photos you took of us at Safi's party. Cedar's 1st birthday was the day after, and it means so much to me that we have that image of us - after the craziest year ever - to mark it.
Can't wait to read/see more of what you do.
xo Eden