A Rolleiflex portrait of a kid on a bike.

Rolleiflex 6008i,  150mm lens. Black and white film.

I remember the day when I came to grips with the idea that a child could be too well documented.  It was the afternoon on which I took this image.  I was working in my little studio, which is just ten steps from the front of our house, when Ben came home from school on his bike.  I grabbed my tripod mounted Rollei and headed out front.  He saw me coming out the door so he waited for me near the top of the drive.  He saw the camera and figured this might take a while so he dropped his backpack on the ground and gave me his gravely-determined-to-be-patient face.

I metered the exposure and snapped a few frames.  Then I heard, "Are we done yet?"

And even though my child is very patient and undemanding of me I could hear the photo-fatigue in his voice.  Now I only document truly big milestones in his life.  Things like:

Waking up, eating oatmeal, walking the dog, playing chess, shooting video, riding away from the house, riding back to the house, swimming, running, walking, chewing, laughing, yawning, playing video games, eating snacks, etc. I think we're working toward a really healthy balance......


  1. Whenever I start thinking like that I remind myself how interested I am in photographs as my grandparents and parents when they were young.

    1. Ugh, _of_ my grandparents. Stupid English, you'd like I'd have the hang of it after 30 odd years.

  2. my just turned 3 yr-old grandson has mastered the Hollywood Cheese smile!

  3. My kids are now pushing 30 so the days of daily documentation of their lives is long past. Back in the day, as a newspaper shooter, my cameras were loaded with either good old Tri-X or P3200. We printed 8x10s at the papers, so the couple of frames of the kids would be printed the same. I have well over 1000 B&W 8x10 prints in the file cabinet. Of course, since my wife and most relatives liked color, we have even more 4x6 prints still in the envelopes from the lab. I have a massive scanning job ahead of me.

  4. "Are we done yet?"

    My own boys are well acquainted with the same sentiment. I got a kick out of this post! So much that I think I'll go take some photos of them sleeping!

  5. LOL -- yes, that's about right... climbing stairs, brushing teeth.. eating..

  6. Damn, I forgot brushing teeth. Thanks everyone. Those are wonderful thoughts...

  7. Memories are one of the biggest joy photography can give us. I like this B&W portrait, the intense glance...super!

  8. This really made me smile - and yes, I've heard that photo-fatigue from our seven year old as well, and had some denials already. So I try to concentrate on the most important milestones as well, like her playing with the Wii or the Barbie dolls or the Lego stuff...


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