We’re celebrating the family holidays in Autrans, France.
Three weeks without an alarm clock set to 05:15. Three weeks in a tent in the mountains. Just the four of us.
Usually we go two weeks, but we learned we need more then 1,5 weeks to get the system back to normal: 3 weeks it is…
As always we got lots of plans for our time off: City trips, books to read, hiking trips in the mountains, visiting some caves, trips to the swimming pool, etc. And as I’m picking up on photography again, I had plenty of ideas to turn to: landscapes, portraits, reading. I even brought my tripod.
But being on a family holiday also means there is non photography things to do. I really enjoy being with my family, so I want to spend time with them as well. However, since the girls (6 and 7 years old) really get along with the other kids, I actually could do a lot of reading.
I could not fully concentrate on the e-books. Instead I turned to my Instapaper reading list. A long list of articles way overdue. I read a lot of good and inspirational articles. I’m thinking of creating a dedicated page on this site for inspiration / a reference. I’ll do that when I’m back home.
In the two weeks that I’m here now I actually did take a lot of pictures. Most of these are not keepers. I see a lot of potential frames, but I’m not working the scene enough to get the keeper shots. I don’t take enough time on the scene, because the family is waiting. Now I know how my dad must have felt back in the days: “Come on, dad. Hurry. Stop taking so much pictures”. And so I have a lot of pictures that could be great, but aren’t.
At first this frustrated me.
I wanted to slow down and work the scene. I wanted to get the keeper shot. But I can’t be the dad not spending time with my family. Sure, there’s no need to constantly be together, but I don’t want to spend the family holidays on photography and not spending time with the family. It should be a healthy mix.
And you know what: This is a healthy mix. I’m having a great time with my wife and kids. Wherever I go I bring my camera and I’m making the best of it. And what I can’t do right now, I’m doing in my head afterwards. Then I’m working the scene, analysing the ‘not so great’ photos that I did make and learning, a lot. And heck I even get a couple of keeper shots.
I’m sure this improves my photography. I’ve got a long list of notes which I want to look into and give a try next time.
It also shows me what kind of photography I’m really enjoying: documentary photography. This gives me focus: what to do next, now and after the holidays.
New items have been added to the photography backlog, and the backlog has been refined.