Taking pictures of the kids when they’re not looking

I take a lot of pictures of the kids, too many, probably, but most of them aren’t anything special. One or both of them is standing there, standing still, posing, or they’re making a funny face or giving each other rabbit ears, or they’re holding up a hand to block the lens, like they’re a movie star and I’m a paparazzo.

That’s why I like this picture of Thing 2, who’s 6.

We were on vacation, and at that moment, his mind was someplace else. He wasn’t posing. He wasn’t being silly. He was just being himself. I noticed the moment, leaned over the rail and took a picture. Once he realized I was there, he posed for a proper picture, but it wasn’t the same. He wasn’t being himself. 

Of the hundreds of pictures I have of him at 6, this crooked, slightly out-of-focus snapshot may be the best.



8 thoughts on “Taking pictures of the kids when they’re not looking

  1. Your post title brought to mind Jackson Browne’s “Fountain of Sorrow.” The song has nothing to do with sweet Thing 2 possibly plotting to take over the world or maybe wondering what’s for lunch, but I like the idea of capturing the true spirit of someone when they’re not posing.

  2. You’re a good dad, Todd! And one day, Thing 1 and 2 will thank you for capturing this kind of great photo — or, if they don’t, they SHOULD! It’s nice to see a shot of a kid just being himself.

  3. That’s a great picture and I so agree with you about catching them when they don’t expect it. The funny, posed pictures are great but the ones that truly capture the child’s essence (in my humble opinion) are the ones like this one…when they are in their own world. And it makes it special because those moments when you can actually catch it are very rare.

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