Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – This has a story?

Robin’s bath time

Every picture has a story and every story has a picture. Yes, this is true. Even the photos that didn’t turn out as planned can have a beautiful story.

I grew up when we used film in our cameras. After using all the pictures on the roll of film, we would take our photos to a Fotomat to have the film developed. In about a week or so we would go back and pick up our printed photos. My family always made a big deal of this. We would plan to go out for supper after we picked up the photos, then we would look at the photos while we waited for our meal at the restaurant. There were the photos that would make us say things like, “I remember that! It was fun!”, the photos that made us ooh and ahh at how pretty the photo was and we had the photos that would make us laugh- sometimes to the point of tears running down our cheeks because nothing in the photo turned out like we thought it would. Yes, waiting a week to see the photos does seem like a long time now, but there was nothing quite like the anticipation of picking up that envelope of photos.

For the most part, my mom was the photographer of the family. She captured all the holidays, vacations and family events. Part of the fun of getting the photos was seeing who would be missing from the photo or who would be missing a head. Mom didn’t always get the picture exact, but that didn’t matter as there was always laughter and always a story. I remember Mom looking at the photos and commenting, “Well, that isn’t how I thought it would turn out” or “He look! I got Uncle ___’s chin in this picture!!” Yes, we joked with her about her photography skills and we would laugh at the photos and sometimes, unfortunately, we probably were a little too mean with our words. However, Mom took the comments in stride and kept on taking pictures. Thank goodness she did – we have many great family memories and many wonderful stories.

I try not to post, what would be considered, less than perfect photos, but sometimes that is just what I do to tell the story. Bird photos can be a bit tricky. For me, it takes several attempts before I get a photo the way I want it. This makes for a lot of photos to go through and decide which ones really aren’t worth keeping. This is surprisingly hard – even with the bad photos. Sometimes the fun of the photo is what could have been – trust me, I have lots of those! Even when the photo isn’t perfect, there can be a perfectly beautiful or humorous story.

The escape

The blue jay in this photo had spent quite a bit of time on the fence post looking around and squawking. I had been taking pictures of some of the other birds and then decided to take a photo of the blue jay. He must have known something was up when I turned the camera towards him because he took off.

The food tastes better here.

The oriole had been enjoying the hummingbird food from one of the other flowers, which was making for a nice picture. Happily, I started taking pictures of him. That is the exact moment he decided to reach for the other flower. He’s balancing with his wing, so there is a blur on his wing. I didn’t know orioles would drink the hummingbird nector.

High wire act

On the day that this picture was taken, there had been several northern cardinals visiting this bird feeder. They would perch next to the tree for a bit and then hop to the feeder. They stand on the tiny branch, instead of the perch on the feeder, to get to the food. I liked the red of the cardinal against the gray/ brown of the tree, so I tried to get a picture of the cardinal perching. Instead, I captured him in mid hop.

We would like some privacy!

While walking on a beach, I noticed this beautiful damselfly. I was a bit of a distance away when I took this photo. It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the pictures, did I see what I had actually captured. There were two damselflies, shall we say, enjoying their time together. It wasn’t until I zoomed the photo to see how I wanted to edit the photo, did I see the true subject. I never did crop this photo.

These photos aren’t as classic as my mom’s family photos, but I smile when I see them. I hope you get a smile out of these too. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by!

Photos are originals by Kim Lawless