To say that I love young children and small animals is a vast understatement.
For the past year, “I want a puppy” has been my favorite mantra. When I was the Maneater photo editor during my sophomore year, all my photographers knew to go out of their way to capture “aww”-inducing photos of young children and/or small animals while on assignment. Granted, we rarely actually used those over-the-top cutesy photos, but that didn’t stop the photographers from going the extra mile to make me fawn over their photos.
So, on Tuesday when there were absolutely no assignments available, I leaped on the chance to do some enterprise at the Columbia Public Library: a children’s music-and-dance program designed for parents and babies who haven’t yet reached the walking stage.
One thing I learned quickly: babies have EXTREMELY short attention spans.
The library aide, Hilary, told me as much when I asked why the program was only 30 minutes long. But I didn’t see this for myself until I started taking photos. I thought I’d start out discreetly by using my 70-200/2.8 and maintaining my distance before starting to inch closer and use my shorter lenses. But my first shot — the one of Jaden, above — clearly shows that babies are easily distracted. I was probably 10 feet away to the side when I aimed my lens at Jaden, and she still saw me and started mugging for the camera.
The downside of this? I knew right then and there that using my flash would be a completely futile effort. The light in the room was pretty bad, but popping a strobe would have created a madhouse of crying or maniacally fidgeting babies.
Also — in continuation with last Tuesday’s theme, I used off-camera flash for breaking news.
Finally — in continuation with this Tuesday’s theme, I had no assignments on Thursday. Unlike last Thursday, I didn’t get lucky with my enterprising. I wandered around Flat Branch Park, walked more than a mile of the MKT trail and strolled about downtown on foot, but I encountered nothing except a keyboardist outside of Cool Stuff.
That’s about it for this very uneventful week.
TOMORROW, I am shooting the first football game of the season! Watch for me along the sidelines of the Missouri-Illinois game, which will be televised live on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. CST!
I’m not too confident in my skills as a football photographer — I’ve only shot one other game — but hey! We’ll see how I do.