If you want to capture the joy of boyhood, and all of its glory, you need to be ready. You need to have that camera out at all times. Mine sits in the living room or kitchen most days. No matter where it sits, it isn’t far, it’s always charged, and ready to go in a moments notice.
It’s not enough to just have your camera ready though. You need to be ready to immerse yourself in their play. Some of my favorite pictures of my oldest nephew are those of a water balloon fight we had, as well as a water hose fight. Notice I said “we” had. Because I got down and dirty (or wet, rather) with him! Sometimes to get the action, you have to be part of the action.
Other pictures that are my favorite of my nephew from when he was little are from splash pads or in the pool. If you want to get fun and interactive photos, sometimes you have to create the opportunities and give kids the ideas, and let them run with it from there.
As I have a boy of my own now (although he’s not quite of the chaos age yet) I already know that I have to let go of the clean house, forget what society says about it, and embrace it. He will only be little for a short amount of time, and I don’t want to waste it on worrying if the house was tidy all those years. So what am I saying? Don’t sacrifice taking a picture because of the clutter, and don’t stop them from painting their face with finger-paint. The pictures will be worth the cleanup that will come later. ALWAYS take the picture.
Don’t forget to take pictures of the mundane activities that happen day-to-day. Sometimes that can tell an even bigger story than the chaos.
We live in a world that wants us to believe that perfection should be the end goal. Let’s not be so preoccupied with creating perfect photos that we miss the opportunity to capture some really great ones.