How to freeze time

If you have read my blog with any type of regularity, my whining about the speedy passage of time in the context of my children’s childhoods is a familiar refrain. Every mom I know, has had the experience of gazing at one of those glorious little faces and trying so hard to memorize the moment, etch into their consciousness, every molecule that is this child at this exact moment in time.

And we are so fortunate to have so many methods of technology to record those elusive stages, but I think that more often we are capturing occasions, smiles, or unusual moments, and we might miss the essence of the kid, that little expression they pull when they are lost in thought, that intensity in their eyes when they are telling you a story, the thing they do with their mouths when they are embarrassed. Capturing these subtle little quirks is what really freezes time. Not the smiling, matching Easter pictures (as fun as that tradition will be to laugh and mock later on in life.)

Tonight, I took some close-ups of my kids as I talked to them. I told them to forget I was there, and got them engrossed in telling me a story about their day, asking them questions and clicking away. It was a pictorial interview I guess. I recommend a prop (in this case it was our bunny-on-a-leash)


to take the pressure/focus off them and then just start sneaking those shots of them in. Before long the camera becomes invisible (just as they claim it does on all those reality shows).

I am not by any means a pro (as my pictures will attest) and these pictures are straight out of my camera, not retouched or enhanced, balanced and whatnot in any way. And that is how they shall stay in order to serve their purpose, they capture the essence of my kids, that freckle I love on the side of Gabe’s nose, that hilarious thing Finny does with his mouth when he is being ironic, the sober, sweet tenderness of Gracie, Benj’s emerging pre-teen attitude (these shots were taken in the middle of a mild lecture of which he was on the receiving end). DSC_0361 It doesn’t have to be perfect and pretty (although I certainly think my kids are both ;) there’s the dirty mouth, the grimy post soccer faces, the, scrapes and bruises and the filthy finger nails. DSC_0267 DSC_0371 DSC_0375 DSC_0092 DSC_0065 DSC_0250 DSC_0355 DSC_0219 DSC_0405 DSC_0408 DSC_0394It’s even the occasional whiny face (even though that part we may not want to freeze, it can help us to overcome the grief of losing this stage later) DSC_0412 DSC_0407 DSC_0384 It’s the every day. The beautiful, precious, elusive, blink and you will miss it every day.

It’s as close to freezing time as I’m ever going to get and I’m so grateful for it.

And that’s what works for me.

DSC_0357 To read about what works for others check out We Are That Family

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Christy said...

You did an amazing job capturing your children. I think I am going to have to do this.

Koala Green said...

I love it!! I hope I didn't stop the fun but thanks for talking to me tonight!!! I have to take more pictures!

Leslie said...

great tips! I've been a scrapbooker for a long time so documenting my kids' lives is important but I'm guilty of telling them to say cheese one too many times and not getting very natural photos. Yours rock!

Mom2fur said...

Look at those sweet faces! You are right, they grow up too fast. Mine are 19, 23 and 27 (Boys) and 25 (girls). Thank goodness for photos! I can show the biggest boy (really, a man) pictures of him with chubby cheeks and say, "see, you really were cute!"
I love candid shots. I want to remember them at 3, 8, 15, whenever they way they really were.

Sheila said...

You did an excellent job! What a great idea! Your kid are beautiful!

Julia said...

You should put these in a book!

Sherry said...

Wow! Great shots! You have beautiful children!

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

This is fantastic. Wonderful shots.

Ally said...

Oh my gosh! Beautiful kids! Those freckles are seriously to die for!

This is a great idea!

Thanks for sharing!!

One Crunchy Mama said...

Gorgeous! Love how you captured the real moments!

Janet said...

Beautiful pictures! I love capturing those moments when my kids are just being themselves. Lovely post.

Trainer T.s Fitness said...

These are great moments that you caught and really show character.

Thanks for sharing....your kids are adorable ;-)