Imperfect Christmases Past (aka before I knew what I was doing with a camera) | Behind the Scenes with Melanie Louette

This post is part of a series of behind the scene posts authored by the Where The Boys regular contributors. This is our opportunity to share with you the very best of us and our different perspectives on mothering / capturing / documenting our sons. Our hope is that in these posts you find encouragement and inspiration in your journey of celebrating your son(s). 

Today's post is brought to you by Melanie Louette. To get to know the author better and connect with their work visit their individual page here

I’ve been trying these past months to do a major cleanup of old files, photos and general useless saved stuff on my computer over many years, filing a zillion photos into a somewhat more organized fashion.

What an arduous task.

There are hidden files in every nook and cranny and as I go through them, I’m finding it hard to let go of even the really bad ones.  Because I can’t retake these photos, the ones I shot before I had a clue what I was doing with a camera. Before I had a clue about aperture or shutter speed.  I don’t like having regrets about anything much- for the most part, I find it to be a colossal waste of energy.  But there is one thing I do actually regret, and that is not having stellar photos of my children when they were little and cute, and there was so much missed opportunity for those perfect shots.  I envy many of the scrapbookers and photographers I know of today, who take such amazing portraits of their little ones, while I sit here and delete yet another shot with scary red eyes and garish flash.

As I go through these one by one, I realize that it isn’t so much about the quality of the photograph as it is the memory it holds for you. And that even though my photos from years past are less than stellar, they are precious to me because they show my boys evolution from babies to young men. I love every single one of them for the memory I have when I look at them. Everyone tells you to hold onto every minute because if you blink or close your eyes or don't pay attention, those little chubby feet suddenly turn into giant sized 11's. The once joyously offered smile and cries of “Mom, take my picture!" turn into scowls when the camera is pointed their way. Sorry to burst that bubble but it’s so, so true. Take those cute pics now. It all goes soooo fast.

What I’ve learned form this exercise is that we need to hang onto those blurry pics we shoot on Christmas morning, even though you’re tempted to delete them. Because they’re precious and real and a moment in time - they’re those imperfectly perfect moments that will never come again.