Thursday, May 31, 2007

our "little" playdate and my failing photography 101

Okay, so our "having a couple of friends over to splash around with us" yesterday afternoon turned into a HUGE playdate. We ended up with 9 moms and 13 kids (ranging in ages 12 weeks to 6 years) in our backyard. Wow! How's that for a distraction from my bad day!!
We had water in the pool, the slide going into the water, the sprinkler going, kids and toddlers running around, and babies spread out on blankets trying to keep cool.
Here are the babies of the group... four little dolls six months and younger.
The babies didn't last very long... it was so hot yesterday and they weren't too happy in the heat.
But here's baby Reyna sunbathing and showing off her little belly. She had this ridiculously frilly baby bikini on... isn't it hilariously adorable?!

It was kind of a quick little visit, but it was fun to get so many of us and the little ones together.


I'm getting really frustrated with the whole photography/new camera thing. I was really looking forward this summer to getting into really learning the basics of photography and learning my new camera and experimenting and practicing and working on all that stuff. I have absolutely no desire to do anything in the professional aspect... I just want to get to where I can reliably capture quality pictures of my kids and our memories. I'm just feeling so frustrated because I know what my camera can do but I don't know how to technically do any of it; I haven't a clue what I'm doing and I feel like I don't have the time to learn it right. My visions of a laid-back summer of playing with and learning my camera outside taking great shots of my kids are slowly being replaced with visions of boxes and painting and getting settled again in a new community and all the other details of making this big move again. I think it's overwhelming me because there's so much I want to learn and it takes so much practice and trial and error and I just don't have time for that now.
I'm at this point where I'm not happy with my photos on autopilot anymore... they're too dark, or the focus is off... but I'm still at such basics (or below) with the technicalities of a camera that I can't get good shots myself either. I feel like I do have an eye for photography... but I'm wondering if I should step back from trying to become somewhat accomplished in it. I feel it's getting to the point where I think it's making me too picky. I'm not having fun taking pictures when I'm trying so hard. I don't want to look at everyday snapshots and pick them apart because they're dark or flat or grainy. I want to see them for the memories that they are and not the technical aspects of them. But then I do so love when I get those random (very few and random around here!) shots that are just about perfect and feel so right...
Anyway, it kind of makes me sad because this is something I think I would really enjoy as a hobby. But I don't feel I can put enough time into it right now to make it a fun hobby, you know what I mean? Aside from balancing everyday life, the busyness of two young kids and making the time to actually spend quality time with my husband... it seems this whole summer will be filled with moving stuff with us still trying to fit fun summer stuff (camping, etc.) all in between. Then as soon as we feel we're getting settled in our new home, we really want to get started on the first steps we have to take to get the ball rolling on finding a child to adopt and all the paperwork and details that go along with that. And then hopefully soon we'll have a new family member to get to know. So it's kind of like, will it never end?! I know that's how life is... there's always something. I guess it just boils down to time management is not being one of my strong points and I just either need to do something about it or quit complaining, huh?
Maybe I'm just feeling overwhelmed in general.
Maybe it's just the stress of buying, selling, and buying yet another house and moving with two kids to another new city for the second time in the span of one year. You think?

Anyone have a crash course learn how to photograph in two days or less?!??? Otherwise I feel I'm going to be on pause in that aspect for a long time.


Emilie said...

Looks like you guys had a great time! I tell you what, I could use a crash course!! Haha!

Mom said...

You do have a "knack" for photography.So relax and just enjoy making(taking) memories.We love all the pictures,so keep'em coming.

dr_sanders said...

I could try to give you a few tips on using a manual SLR and the reasons "why" behind each and that may help you. Photography is a science, and that is where Ryan may actually be able to help you with the manual part of it. I will try to email you and/or call you sometime this weekend. (I also have many photography notes from my classes and photography books and magazines that you can look through as well.)Have you asked Nicole to help you?

Nic said...

Ho-ly-cow! Check out your backyard! And aren't all those little baby girls ADORABLE? Its so cool to see all of them together!

Why don't we get together and take Savannah downtown and finish her session, you bring your camera and I'll try to teach you some things. Try... I said. I don't know if I'm good at teaching camera stuff LOL! (and, uhm.... aren't I supposed to be a teacher?? HAHA!)

Annie said...

Hey Heather, don't give up!! (I know you won't really). Have you thought of getting photoshop? It seems like it can really "help" regular "auto-shot" photos. Just an idea for the meantime while you are learning. It may keep it fun!

Gabe & Heidi's P.A.D. said...

Here's my little pep-talk:
I feel your pain. I often hate the pictures I post on our blog but I need the motivation to improve. Here's a blog I often check out. I think the suggestions great and the instructions are clear. I don't check it every day but I do when I'm especially frustrated.
Also, don't forget to keep things in perspective. Look back at some of your old photos and see for yourself how much you're improving!

Aunt Holly said...

I'm right there with you, Heather. Just one tip on the camera that I'm sure you already know... but since both you and I were oblivious to the green light on our old camera, I thought I'd better mention it! The red lights are the focus points. I can give you a little trick over the phone sometime too. Happy belated anniversary!