25 February 2009

New habits die hard

I took this photo about two or three days after I started using my dSLR for the very first time. And while it's impolite to toot my own horn, I have to admit that I rather enjoy this image from my earliest moments as an avid amateur. Baby is perfectly content and mama is jubilant (I was just introducing her to wrapping). Plus, I hand dyed that hemp/cotton stretch wrap and then painted the shimmery metallic swirls as a center marker. It's olive green for the colorblind among us. ;)
first attempts

Over time, it seems like I've settled into a bit of a rut. I have quite an obsession with babies looking directly at the camera and mamas looking directly at said babies. I honestly didn't know that I had such a leaning until I went through my past photos to find a few to post on my Facebook page.
later attempts 1
later attempts 2
later attempts 3
later attempts 6

I've posted these two photos before, but I thought I'd show them again since they so keenly demonstrate my complete lack of originality emerging aesthetic style.
later attempts 4
later attempts 5

6 comments:

Rachel said...

What do you think it means that a mother looks at her child instead of the camera? I have many like that and it's my natural tendency to look at my daughther instead of the camera.

I know I am terribly uncomfortable looking at the camera.

I know that my daughter is amazingly BEAUTIFUL.

LH said...

I have mentioned my hypothesis on this photographic phenomenon previously (jeez...again with the alliteration!) but will reiterate because (1) you asked and (2) I love to hear my own theories. ;)

Part of the responsibility (and joy!) of being a parent is to provide the scaffolding so that our children can climb to great heights...greater heights than we, ourselves, climbed. Inherent within this task is the need to step back out of the limelight and away from the focus of attention so that our children become the focus. They are able to look forward and forge their own path in the world because we, their ever faithful mothers, have receded to the background where we can provide the most support--i.e., the aforementioned scaffolding.

Your daughter absolutely knows you think she is beautiful and will take in this love that you have showered upon her when you gaze upon her. It allows her to look out to the world with the confidence and self-respect necessary to achieve great things and connect genuinely with others.

I think the photographs are merely a physical manifestation of this dynamic between mother and child.

It does not happen all the time. Some mothers look at their children with anger and contempt and some do not look at all...so when I capture it in photos--I really do love it so!

Hyacynth Filippi Worth said...

I have a few photos of John looking at Gabe instead of the camera, and I think it's just as much a daddy tendency as a mommy one. I've also noticed his dad always looks at Gabe in pictures, too. I love it, though. They always have such expression in their faces.

LH said...

Oh, yes, Hy! I didn't mean to imply it was a phenomenon exclusive to mothers! :)

Ivan Chan Studio said...

I love the open captioning for the color blind in this post! Tee-hee, it's almost like seeing the color!

I enjoyed reading your theory for this pose; what's interesting to me is that this was discussed once in my class with regards to the portrayal of women in advertising--specifically how women were posed to look at the men (longingly or lovingly) while the men looked away or at the camera (usually with smoldering sexuality).

I like that you make the point that mothers don't always look at their children with love, but can glare at them with anger or even ignore them--a counterpoint to your focus on these moments. What do you think about poses/captured moments of mothers/caregivers/fathers and children looking at each other?

I.

LH said...

Oh, yes, I love those photos when they're looking at each other! But you have to be sneaky because parents really want their kids looking directly at the camera, you know?