This parody, Look at this Instagram, made me cringe.  It pokes fun at our collective obsession with taking pictures of every little thing.  We take pictures of pie, breakfasts, messes, evidence that we have cleaned our closets, before, after, toenails, feet in sand, feet in water, soap, basically everything we lay our eyes on. Ever since I picked up my iPhone my previous photographic output has become a speck in comparison. I would go months between photo taking spurts before. Even after getting a digital camera, I would either break it and have to save up for a new one, or lose the cord so I could not download the pictures or, well, there was always something. Now, of course, there are no limits and maybe that's a bad thing or maybe, just maybe, that's a very good thing.

Predictably there are lots of concern about taking so many pictures, particularly of kids.  In this recent article published in the New York Times from October, the author raises questions about how taking so many photographs of our kids might put kids at risk of self-consciousness, even hyper-sexualization.   The worry is that taking so many photos of kids can give them a false sense of how central they are to everything. I have these concerns too.  My main concern, of course, is about their safety and privacy, but also, I am conscious that if I take too many pictures, I am not actually experiencing my kids directly.  My kids have voiced objections to being photographed and I have respected those, but it hasn't been a consistent concern of theirs.  It only comes up when they are overstimulated or overtired. I try to involve them as much as possible in what I am doing, and they often suggest photos I can take for my blog (like the one above).

Recently I heard an interesting discussion with Martin Parr on CBC's Q.  He is a prominent British photographer who has decades of experience taking photographs. On his blog and in the interview, he talks about his observations about our growing collective obsession with photography while travelling and posting them on facebook, among other things.  We are being buried under millions of photographs.  He asks, who is ever really going to look at them since we don't take the same kind of care to display them.  He also notices people always posing for photographs which detracts from documenting authentic moments.

I find all of these discussions very interesting.  However, I also can't stop seeing in a different way thanks to photography--others` photography and now my own.  Yes, I admit it has helped me get through a very long boring afternoon with the kids or a slow poke walk to school.  However, there are worse things I could be doing to get through those!  However, it has also helped me sharpen my awareness of my kids and my connection to them and the natural world.  I try to be conscious of not always looking at them through a lens, but I also get so much joy taking photographs, I also figure out a lot of things in the process.  I take so many that I, eventually, once in a while, get a good one.