the photos I didn't get/ the photos I did get

Metaphoto is meta: a photo of Remy capturing us on video on his Kindle Fire. I love this photo! But I wanted to get the actual screen in focus and didn't. And Remy is always going so quickly that one or two photos is all I get. 

It would be really easy for me, as a photographer, to beat myself up over the photos I didn't get.

The time we went to the Statue of Liberty/ Ellis Island and I brought my dslr and forgot the camera battery in the charger at home.

The time I brought my Fuji x10 to a wedding in Antigua and the battery died right before the ceremony and I'd left two fully charged batteries back at the hotel.

The time we went to Chellah and I took so many photos of the walk there, my battery died after the first few photos inside. And once again, the two spare batteries were at the hotel.

The thing about these three examples, though, is that I had a backup camera with me. (My old iPod touch in the first example, my Lumia 928 in the second two.) So I did get photos; just not the photos I was hoping/ expecting to take!

The focus on this photo is completely off. I have to actively practice not being annoyed that this wasn't the photo I wanted to take. 

I don't have links to the examples where I didn't have a backup camera. I only have memories. And since my memory (and yours) isn't very reliable, I have a tough time remembering those examples.

It's easier to remember the times I wrote about leaving my camera behind, or forgetting to bring (extra) batteries.

And then there's all the photos I don't get because I wasn't fast enough or the focus or exposure is off, or because the moment couldn't be, or the person doesn't want to be photographed.

(M, Remy and Souster B all have varying levels of portrait or candid photo-taking acceptance. I take wayyyyy more photos of all of them than I share, because I want to respect their privacy.)

Or, even more usually, the photos I don't take because it doesn't occur to me to take them (like yesterday, where I was trying to find a photo of my suitcase, packed, and couldn't).

Definitely not the focus I was aiming for. But still interesting!

I could beat myself up over not getting "the right" photos. But I take my practice of not beating myself up emotionally seriously. So I practice not beating myself up over not taking the right photo and instead I focus on the photos I did take.

(That practice is simple: every time I catch myself thinking or saying something mean about myself, I stop and reframe the idea so that it is neutral or positive.)

I took the three photos I'm sharing here at the end of August on a photowalk with Remy. (They're in reverse chronological order!)  He took his Kindle Fire on the photowalk because he likes taking front facing videos on it. Totally a product of his generation!

Neither of these first two photos got the focus right - and in this case, I did not have the time to manually focus or even touchscreen focus. Remy's invitation to take these photos happened lightening fast. And once he's done, he's done. No going back!

I had to crop this one a lot (he ran ahead of me and then turned), but it's PERFECT. Those eyes!


Oh, those eyes!

Yes, it is much better to focus on the photos I do take, rather than beating myself up about the photos I don't take.

And to remind myself to charge the batteries and bring them! And work on being able to take better photos all the time! Craft is important! Practice is good!

And to remember that even where I could see "fail" and delete immediately, there still might be something compelling.

Yes.