Over the last seventeen years and 364 days Ben has been photographed with an enormous variety of cameras and lenses...

....and I've loved every minute of it.

Tomorrow Ben turns 18. He'll be a full fledged adult (at least in the eyes of the government...) and I am amazed at how quickly the time has gone by. When he was tiny most of my documentation of his every move, burp and giggle was done with Leica and Hasselblad film cameras. He inaugurated the first Kodak professional digital cameras to hit the studio, patiently posed for Nikon 100's, Fuji S2s, 3s and 5s, and a whole litany of Olympus digital cameras starting with a DL 2500 and progressing through the e10, the e1 and the e3. He sat patiently while I fiddled with Canon D70s, d60s, 5dmk2s, and even a 1DSmk2. I can't begin to count the m4:3 versions he grimaced at and lately he's tolerated (barely) the Sonys and the Samsungs.

This was taken at Asti Trattoria, his favorite restaurant for at least the last 14 years, with one of my all time favorite camera and film combos. It was a Leica M6 (.85ttl) using a 50mm Summicron and ISO 400 black and white film.

I've made prints. Lots of prints. So even if GoldenEye goes off in the upper atmosphere and the EMF blast wipes out all the digital information I'll still have the actual artifacts, the black and white and color prints.

On a sad note tomorrow will be the first birthday for him at which I will not be present. I will be traveling to New York for the Photo Plus Expo. We'll celebrate when I get back on Sunday.  Maybe I'll have a bag of free samples to share. One can only hope.

Have kids? Whip that camera out and make some beautiful images. At the core that's what this is really all about. Then, take that next step and have a bunch of prints made. It's the only current future proof guarantee. And they're fun to have around.

Studio Portrait Lighting

I'm a Craftsy Instructor

If you are in New York at the PhotoExpo consider dropping by the Samsung area to say, "hello." I'd appreciate it.


  1. What's your schedule for Photo Plus?

  2. Photos of my kids are definitely what it is all about for me. I do a family blog (bradcalkins.blogspot.com) in addition to my photo one, and print it into a book twice a year with full page images at the back. The kids (now 2,4,6 and 8) already love looking through it at photos of their lives! Videos of the kids are fun too, especially to hear them talking when they are little...

  3. What is your schedule at the show?

  4. Every once in a while, I try to take a picture of something other than my son. It hardly ever works out.

    If the comments allow attachments, I will attach the one picture I took of a latte. In the corner of the photo, you can see my son's hand approaching at full speed to come spill some coffee.


    This is just one of many reasons why I need fast AF.

  5. Kirk, Yup, I got kids. But now I also have grandkids! Three of 'em between 3 months and 3 years. Love that innocence, big eyes and flawless skin!

  6. Ben is lucky to have a father like you! Now and when older he will have a beautiful collection of photographs. I'm almost 65 now and when I go through the photos I have in the many boxes at home which my father, a passionate amateur photographer left me is always a great moment!
    PS: but the keyword is: print, print and then print again...
    PS N°2: and best wishes for Ben's birthday :-)

  7. I take lots of photos of my children also, still with a Leica and still with film. I note, in your article, a concern about the future of our digital files and I get that. Don't forget your negatives. Those are a form of back-up we know works. My mother recently handed me some 50 year old negatives and slides my late father shot and I scanned them. It took a bit of cleaning on screen, but they look darn good.

  8. When I began to get frustrated with the poor photos that my digital point & shoot produced when photographing my son, I knew that I had to do something. I invested in a Nikon D300, a 50mm f/1.8 and an SB-600. I barely remembered my photography classes from high school, and borrowed some books from the library, learned a lot on different websites...now I have over 4,000 photos of my 3 year old son, and over 200 prints (mostly 8x10s) of my favorites. I also produce a look back photo book each year for the grandparents, godparents, and for me and my wife. I want my son (and the one on the way!) to remember their happy childhoods.

  9. At some point, you should collect all of your pics of your son and make it into some kind of finished product. A finished product may consist of prints (and probably should), but prints are not a finished product. Basically, it would be something like a book or gallery show. For example, you could get a 12"x12" blank-page book ("scrapbook") and mount 8x10-ish size prints in it. Perhaps even add some commentary. You would have to whittle down your collection to perhaps 100 images, certainly no more than 200 or so, which is only ten per year for eighteen years.

    Along the way, you might consider post-processing of the photos, and all of the other factors (style of the book, method of mounting, commentary text, etc.) that is involved in producing a finished product. By "product" it doesn't have to be for sale. There might be only one in existence. But, you would have something actually come out the end of your photographic efforts.


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