Preserving the Evidence
October 20, 2006
A CHORUS OF LIKE, AT LEAST THREE OR FOUR PEOPLE, MAN: Um, where the hell are all the baby pictures?
Issue #1: My Flickr photos (and yours, probably) are now being republished at Bitacle. I cannot express how much this bugs me. (Read this and this if you don't know what I'm talking about; if I try to explain it in my own words I'd have to include so much profanity that I'd get kicked off the Internet.) While Bitacle is being a little less douchey than they were a few weeks ago, when they had ads and no attributing links and claimed their own license on the mountains of scraped content, I still hate Bitacle and always will. And I believe tthey will most certainly regroup and find another way to make money off our splogged photos and writing.
I hate that Flickr does not give me the option of turning off the RSS feed for my photostream, and I really hate that I didn't read Flickr's Terms of Service closely enough to realize that they are totally okay with what Bitacle is doing.
So I'm not sure I'm going to use Flickr anymore. I know full and total control over content published on the Internet will probably always be a pipe dream, but I also don't think it was COMPLETELY naive of me to assume that photos uploaded to Flickr would...stay on Flickr, for the most part, or that the precautions I took to protect them (the "all rights reserved" copyright notice? the no-downloading/no-blogging option?) meant I had some kind of recourse if they cropped up elsewhere.
(What was that I said about not wanting to write about it in my own words? Didn't I say something like that, several hundred words ago?)
Issue #2: Obviously, I do exert far more control over my RSS feed here (TRUNCATED, YE BASTARDS), so what's my damage? I guess the fact that Noah has recently become so much harder to photograph. For one thing, he never stops moving. I have a zillion pictures of the back of his head.
Even worse, he's hyper-aware of the camera now and glares at it. One minute he'll make these absolutely amazing faces where he scrunches his nose and smiles and chatters and I swear, you could go cave-diving in those dimples, and I think: that right there, that's him. And I grab the camera and point and click, and boom. I get this:
I'm thinking of offering his services to Brangelina.
So lately I've just stopped diving for the camera as often as I used to. My already limited skills as a photographer are no match for toddlerhood.
Which makes photos like this one so much more precious to me:
We had professional photos taken shortly before Noah's birthday. I included a few of them in Noah's birthday video, and then meant to post the full collection that next week, but of course: molars, illness, woe, general malaise and my typical stupidness.
Kaileen first emailed me a few months ago with a proposition I could not turn down: a free in-home photo session and at-cost prints in exchange for a mention here. I usually ignore any freebies-for-editorial offers I get (CONTENT IS NOT FOR SALE. SIDEBAR IS. I LIVE ON MONEY, NOT FABRIC SOFTENER SAMPLES) (Mmmm, just SMELL that selective integrity), but this was obviously a little different. Kaileen is another mom (her son is just a couple months younger than Noah), who recently left the corporate world to pursue her photography business. She's stressed, she's nervous, she is insanely fucking talented.
Of course, I didn't really know that at the time, but figured that the photos would probably speak for themselves without a whole lot of input from me.
But oh my God, people, these photos. They take my breath away every time I look at them. They made family members cry.
They captured something so fleeting and precious that I almost can't stand it. They captured Noah's last moments of honest-to-goodness babyhood.
He's already changed so much, in just a few weeks. His cheeks aren't as round. His arms are lean. His legs are strong and un-rollified. Everything about him screams toddler, little kid, big kid.
God. Maybe I need to go grab the camera after all.
Bye Bye Baby from amalah on Vimeo.
Music: Still Fighting It by Ben Folds.
(Apologies for another overly-indulgent video montage thing, but TypePad is having some serious thumbnail resizing issues today, plus what, you think I'd miss a chance to be overly mournful and dramatic about MY PRESHUS BAYBEEEEE? Hell no.)
(Also, for real. If ANY MD-DC-VA readers are thinking about having maternity/baby/family portraits done, I cannot recommend Kaileen enough. I mean, look at who's modeling for her website. Would that face steer you wrong?)