I know many photography enthusiasts whose shutter-snapping origins reside in child photography. More specifically, they never picked up a camera in a more “serious” manner until they had children. I am one of those. But why is that? Why is it that a child, completely unaware of photography, often catalyzes this burning need in people? I wouldn’t be surprised to find a DSLR camera on a baby registry these days. If I was to have another child, hell I might register for a nice 24mm prime lens. My only answer to that question is the propensity to preserve a memory which seems to burn the most with parents…i.e. forging a memory.
And the forging, the ability to freeze the moment—even if you are the only one who recalls the moment—it is I believe the root of the matter. While I can revere in the near cataclysmic awe of someone else’s photo—a gaped wonder of the Grand Canyons—and appreciate the beauty of the capture—I know that the exchange will always be a separate event for the photographer that nobody else can see. There is a memory of the event that enhances the photo that only they can see. But memories are rapid, evanescent images in the mind, and without immediate context, are hard to describe for another. The camera can fill in, but I like to explore the former more with the camera. Can you make an image look like a memory? This is something I always try to do in child photography. Make the photos “look” like a memory.