Julia · Photography

Mini Me

When I take all my backyard nature photos of squirrels and assorted birds, I set up my camera (w/telephoto zoom attached) on a mini tripod on the kitchen counter just to the left of the sink.  That’s the spot for the best view of the back yard, including the shelf on the deck rail that was originally constructed as outdoor counter space but currenly is the winter feeding station. 

Anyway, Julia likes to sit on the counter and take pictures, too.  I’ve let her look through the viewfinder of my camera and snap pictures.  That’s the lovely thing about the digital camera – she can shoot as many pictures as she wants and if they aren’t any good – I can delete them. 

Anyway, last weekend she and I actually had a tug-of-war with the camera because she wanted to take a picture and so did I.  The thing was, there was a male cardinal in the cherry tree and THAT was what I wanted to shoot.  But Julia wanted to take a picture of the bluejay in the same tree.  And so she is trying with her little fingers to pry the camera out of my grip, and I’m trying to fend her off, focus on the cardinal, and prevent my nice shiny equipment from slamming into the sink in the process.  Ultimately, the possessive big sister of my personality reared up and shouted (I’m kind of ashamed) "It’s MY CAMERA!"  At which point Julia burst into tears and the cardinal flew away.

So.  Yesterday, in order to avoid all of that, I went digging around in camera bags and found this:


My father gave me this for Christmas in 1984 and I’ve shot zillions of rolls of film with it.  The majority of my adult life has been viewed through that lens.  Or through the other two lenses I have for that camera.  With that camera, I’ve photographed my sister’s kids as newborns, and also my own. 

Anyway.  I got this camera out and found a couple rolls of film and another mini tripod, and I set Julia up next to me at the window.  I taught her how to focus (sort of – she doesn’t really have that down yet) and how to crank the film over IMMEDIATELY after taking a picture.  (This is a big deal for me – it drives me INSANE when someone – like my husband – doesn’t crank the film over.  SO frustrating.)  Anyway – my children will be brought up right, in this respect at least.  I quizzed Julia this morning – Julia, what do you do after you take the picture?  "Crank it!"  That’s my girl.

During a lull in the backyard wildlife activity, we went to take a look out the front window, to see if the birds or squirrels were doing anything there.  No.  But Julia took several shots of our truck, which was parked in the street.  And then we sat on the couch and took pictures of each other.  It was really fun….





Okay, now see my delicately extended pinky in the shot below?  (She and I switched cameras.)


Now look at her equally delicately raised pinky here:




She has decided the camera is hers.  I try to explain the concept of borrowing, but she ignores me.


She shot two rolls of film yesterday.  It’ll be interesting to see how they come out.  At times she would also say "Let’s trade!" so she could snap away on my digital at lightening speed for a while.  I’m not going to show you ALL the pictures she took.  But there are about twenty that look almost exactly like this one:


Eventually the squirrels and birds ate all the food or at least became too bloated to eat any more.  So Julia turned to family portraits.  She used the last couple of shots on her second roll of film up, and then asked to borrow my camera. 

Because you know how it is when you’re trying to do a group photo.  Someone blinks in one or someone’s not smiling – you have to shoot a bunch just to get one or two good ones.

Here are hers….







I can’t help it.  These amuse me.

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