How To Photograph The Elusive Teenager

I have been an avid photographer since I was in my single digit years. My mom, bless her investment, gave each of us girls our own cameras. This was back in the film days (film - you know, the stuff you develop in dark rooms?) and it was a considerable expense to have to refill each camera monthly. We got the 36 photo rolls, and tried to make them last, but we had so much to photograph! Cows, and horses, and dogs....

Hey, I didn't say it was quality.

If I'd have been a typical kid, I might have had pictures of my friends. Maybe we could have originated the whole duck lips thing that's the craze with kids nowadays. But I was a stable bum, who spent every waking hour in the barn, and dreaming of being there when I wasn't. My friends *were* my cows and horses and dogs. Go ahead. Laugh. I laugh at that me all the time. But it was a good life and I loved it.

After we were married I got a Canon Rebel 35mm, and was so proud of that thing. But then kids came along and I hated toting that huge camera to soccer games, along with a diaper bag, a purse, a stroller... I needed something smaller. I combined my purse and diaper bag loot, and stuffed a point and shoot in the bag. I lived in point and shoot land for years. And years. And then I missed my Rebel, and bought the digital variety. That thing has been a growth on my side since Day 1.

I photograph everything. If we go to the zoo or a park, the camera is the first thing I grab. I have albums of birthday parties and nature hikes. And just as many pictures of the kids playing in the yard or sitting together around the fire pit. I take an average of 100 pictures per day, unless there's an event or an outing, then you can safely triple that. But the bugger is that I live with teens. If you aim a camera in their direction, they turn away, throw their hands over their faces, and loudly yell, "MOOOOOOOOM," thereby giving the other teens in the tri-county vicinity time to get away from the lens.

The kids were looking through one of the bazillionty albums that we have recently, and I overheard things like, "it's all about Micah," and "you'd think he was the only kid in the family," and "we know who mom's favorite is." I had no choice but to correct them. And I did it gladly. (If a mom can prove she's right, she'll jump all over that opportunity. Too bad I couldn't photograph the moment.) I reminded them how they act every time they see me point a camera in their direction. I told them that it's not fun to see pictures of the backs of heads, or a blur as they run away, so I delete them and they never make an album cut.

People, I have now created the most camera friendly teens in the history of the world. Nobody runs or eye rolls when they see me taking aim. In fact, they will now hold a pose until they hear a click. IT'S SO AWESOME.

1 comment:

Flea said...

Ooooooh. So that's the secret! My teens aren't quite so compliant. We've had that conversation multiple times, to no avail. They even complain that I don't love them, since there are no recent photos. Gonna have to come up with something else here.

Your boy is a handsome kid, though. :)