Monday, July 9, 2012

The Flip Side of the Parental Photobomb

Hello, all ye who come here seeking the Modalu "Emerald" Pippa - review up here!

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"It's so great, this Facebook age," our friend, a fellow parent visiting from out of town, enthused over dinner the other night. "I feel like I've known Master P as he's grown up through the photos you post."

Photo credit: amazing Austin wedding & family photographer Z

"Sort of," I thought to myself, "But that isn't the whole story . . ."

(And, yes - I realize my friend's statement may have been code for "DUDE, lay off the constant kid photos already!" Duly noted. However, this particular friend posts just as many kid photos, so pot = kettle. Hmmph.)

As one who logs onto things like Facebook to see two things - (1) photos of my friends and their respective matchings & hatchings; and (2) reassurance that my exes are indeed more rotund / balding than they once were - I myself adore these sorts of photos, and no, not just mine.

I wonder, though, if something is getting lost through this social media sense of closeness. In this constant sharing of the external - those seemingly perfect families grinning smugly at the camera - are we sometimes missing the back story, the actual child behind the perfectly coordinated (and miraculously clean) BabyGap?

Photos tell an important part of the story, but isn't there more to knowing someone than that? Not that other people find us or our children nearly as fascinating as we do, but still. Still . . .

For example, that darling of snap of Master P you see up there - it's a gorgeous shot, full stop, but did you know he was trying to run into the lake just off camera for the whole of that shoot?

You can't see the way when he's playing cars (approximately 95% of his waking hours) he bellows "VROOOM!"and grips an imaginary steering wheel so tightly he appears to be commandeering a bowel movement an actual 18-wheeler.

You can't feel the sweetness of when, out of nowhere, he runs up to me and gives me a gentle hug, resting his head on my shoulder for a too-brief moment before running back to the game du jour.

You can't hear the way he whispers "miaow" when he sees a cat (does your cat whisper? apparently ours does) or proudly shouts "TED!" when something r-e-d rolls by.

In a good photo, like the (professional) ones here, you do see a glimpse of that, but it's that - a glimpse. As wonderful as this social media stuff can be sometimes, keeping us connected across a distance, sometimes there's just no substitute for the original, is there?

photo credit: ziem photography

Those of us who like to create - photographers and bloggers alike - can only hope to capture that glimpse. Here's to the pursuit of both the ideal and the real, as well as more dinners with good friends.

9 comments:

Danielle said...

So true! All too often I'm guilty of trying to get the "perfect" shot, all while missing the chance to just absorb the moment. Sure my memory isn't what it used to be, nor is it going to get any better, but I still don't want to miss a single minute of this journey we call life. Photos are just a quick snap, the everyday life tells the rest of the story.

Danielle said...

Oh, and great pictures, by the way! The Master gets cuter every post!

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

I've definitely pulled back on my own Facebook interactions. Several of my friends have over-sharing syndrome and post what seems like 100 pictures a month. Anyway, I do enjoy blogging more than just picture posting because you get to include the behind the scenes stories. The good, bad and ugly.

Lindsey said...

Such a great post!!! I have spent less and less time on facebook in the past month or so because of certain people, but i too am obsessed with trying to capture a perfect picture so that when I do put it online, I feel "accomplished" if you will- which makes me feel like an idiot.

Anna said...

So true! Great post. I love having photos (and making photo books for us to look back on for years to come), but you're right, you can't tell everything from stories and pictures.

ms. mindless said...

My facebook newsfeed is ALL weddings and babies. I love it. I want to see everyone's babies and I am obsessed with weddings. What I do mind is the humblebrag captions that come along with the photos. You know the ones I am talking about..photo of baby sleeping by the pool on vacation with a "so blessed" or "this is the life" or "love this life!" as a caption. It is always the people that I know are a hot mess in reality, but based on the life they project via facebook, you would think they lead a perfectly staged and posed existence.

Yes, I've thought far too much about this, but it drives me crazy!

The Preppy Princess said...

One of the reasons I grudgingly appreciate FB (you'll never hear me say "like" in the same sentence as the word Facebook) is just what you cite, the ability to watch 'matchings and hatchings'. In your case it is the utter delight of seeing the Prettification of the Planet via the Wee CEO.

I'll never mistake it as being the real deal, it merely allows me to see and learn things I might not otherwise have known about. But there's no chance I'll delude myself it captures the sweetness of 'real life.' Your take on it is perfect, you have the essence of what it is - and isn't, right in this post.

Tracy said...

according to Tannis, our cat whispers too, the exact same sound as yours!

Sarah said...

This may be slightly off-topic, but this post made me instantly think of certain mommy-bloggers. It's really easy to look at their seemingly-perfect kids and immaculate houses and forget that all blogs are just a glimpse. I'm working on getting back into blogging and I am definitely struggling with how my everyday life will come across. You know, that classic dichotomy: only share the positive and you're being fake and trying to make others feel bad, share the negative and you're a complainer that doesn't appreciate her family. I think a good balance can be achieved (you do it well, as do some others) but probably takes a bit of effort.

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