Monday, July 20, 2009

Say Cheese!

In an earlier post I discussed my concerns about combining a family vacation with my photographic needs and wants. Well, I am happy to report that it is possible and I think I have enough images to prove it.

Now, there is another liability to having a photographer on a vacation. The actual trip does not get recorded like it should. We had a lot of very memorable moments but most of them will stay in our minds instead of as pixels. This became very clear to my husband and me (the kids were in London), when we were on the “Fat Tire” bicycle tour of Paris. The tour guide kept taking us to places and then offering to photograph the couples and families in front of whatever famous site we were at. So here we were, everyone handing their cameras over to have their memories recorded and preserved, when I realized that we are the only ones on the tour without a camera! I had made the decision earlier that this was not an outing suitable for my heavy camera bag. It was during this time that I wished we had a point & shoot camera of some sort to at least join in with everyone!

I should mention that both of my kids brought cameras to Europe. My son was shooting with a manual Nikon FM film camera and my daughter was enjoying her new graduation present – a Nikon D40 – but for the most part they were focusing on capturing light, angles, and emotion instead of posed grins in front of instantly recognizable buildings, bridges and churches.

Realizing that I wanted some sort of proof that we were in Paris all together, I asked my daughter if she would take a few “snapshots” on my birthday. She agreed on the condition that they be somewhat spontaneous. What follows are a few of our "documentary" photographs. With the exception of this musical couple in Montmartre, a scene I could not resist, my daughter took all of these.

This cafe was down the street from our hotel and we usually started our day there and many times stopped by one more time before heading back for the night:

This was on my birthday - my wish was to photograph as much as possible that day and it was fun having my son claim I was "stealing" his shots!

This was taken at our favorite cafe (see above). The baby really looks like he is studying the menu!

Dinner on my birthday - a picnic in the park!

To cap off an amazing day - fireworks off of the Eiffel Tower! My birthday is on Bastille Day, one of the most important holidays celebrated in France. I got goose bumps watching these because I realized that this was a moment I had thought of for years and here it was really happening!

I will probably regret not having posed in front of the Louve, Jim Morrison's grave, Notre Dame, the Sacre-Coeur or any of the other grand and historical sites we visited, but every time I work on an image from this trip I will remember where I was, who I was with and how it felt to be there. That's all I really need.


  1. Dianne,

    These are wonderful images and what a great place to be to celebrate your birthday.

    I think you could always Photoshop yourself and family into some shots of the Louvre and Notre Dame!

  2. You're not the only one without photos in front of the Louvre etc! I too did the same, but I do have a couple of shots of us around the place, and that's enough.

    Love the photo of your son taking pictures with you!