Monday, June 7, 2010

Lake Photo, Revisited



Believe it or not, the photo that I took at Franklin Lake, in Eagle River, Wisconsin (several years ago) was a candid shot. I just snuck up behind the fam at the lake's edge and snapped it. It's one of my all-time favorites.

After I saw how awesome this photo turned out, I got it in my head that I should set up the same pose each year after and take a photo so that, in the end, I would have a fantastic treasure. Since then, every year that we go camping, the family moans and groans a little but humors me, and we try to recapture the moment. I don't have copies of the handful of attempts since the original, and the reason is that they've all fallen short of what I was going for. I've never been able to get it "just right." Still, I persevere.

When we went camping last weekend, I was very excited about once again trying to capture the shot. As the family prepared to walk down to the lake at just the right time (not too light out, not too dark), Kyle calmly asked, "Mom, why are you so obsessed with getting that picture? It's not like we need it."

And that's all it took to click for me; we do not need that photo. It has no bearing on how much fun we have, the quality of our memories, or anything else. We've camped at Franklin Lake many times and have piles of memories to show for it: boating out to "our" island, the horrific storm we weathered one year, fun at the beach, the friends we've made (some we still have), etc. and I have very few photo to show for it. Photo memories are nice, but my children do not need photos to remember why they've loved our camping trips. Heck, I've never even printed that photo out and put it in a frame. How important can it be if I haven't even done that?

So yeah, I'm going to print that photo and frame it, and then I'm going to let it go; file it, if you will, because the photo is simply a symbol, a symbol of the love and togetherness we've shared as a family. Nothing can ever take that away; it need not be "captured" or repeated just-so. There will be plenty of other symbols. For example, this one.


[click the photo for the story behind it]

So, when we got down to the lake, I let them pose however they wanted, and I took a couple of shots. Then, we went up, set up our sleeping bags in the tent, and spent the rest of the weekend talking, laughing, roasting marshmallows...and making new memories.

17 comments:

  1. Wise young man you have there! I love the photo...frame it! Love your laughing one too many but that one in scrapbook instead....hee hee such wonderful memories your kids will tell their kids and so on! Have a great start to your summer! Woot woot!

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  2. Smart kid.

    I feel that way all the time, that people who are obsessed with capturing the moment are missing the moment.

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  3. Do you think you'd ever be able to capture that same scene again? What a great reminder of how special your family is!
    I have to say...you look like you're laughing so hard that it hurts...isn't that the best kind of laughing? :D

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  4. You have done a good job raising that young man. It sounds like a wise decision to let go of trying to duplicate the original picture. Some where along at another camping trip you will stumble upon a new camping scene of the family. Of the children older and you will have a new one to hold dear in your heart. We were campers too, and I know what you mean about the family camping memories having such fun and loving places forever.

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  5. I think sometimes we just need to go back. Does that make sense? That one picture might sum up the every feeling and fun thought you had while on that trip and you just want every trip to be that way so yo ustart by re-creating it. And not every trip is going to be like that one... It's weird though how sometimes we want to go back and relive that one memory. But there are so many new memories out there... We just have to be patient and let them come.

    Thanks for sharing this!!! :)

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  6. Did you see the season finale of Modern Family? Besides being hilarious, it has a poignant scene about needing a family photo. I think you would like it.

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  7. I agree with Shannon. It was the memory and special feeling that the photo evoked that you were hoping to capture. It is easy to forget that memories aren't posed.

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  8. What an eloquent way of seeing things. How true and you know, no matter how hard you try to recapture the photo, even if you got it perfectly, it wouldn't be the same. Those moments were real and that's why the photo is so magnificent.

    The picture is fabulous! I thought before clicking, you had a being-chased-by-a-bear look. I'm glad it was a hysterical hickey laugh.

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  9. You are one wise woman. Just saying.

    I LOVE that lake picture. Wow.

    And the second picture. Um yeah. WOW. :)

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  10. I think thats great! I have done that!

    I lik ethe pic of you. So...natural.

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  11. I love the pics in this post ...I love simple fun family memories

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  12. I hope you get that picture framed - it's a keeper. I did really enjoy your AHA moment! It was enlightening for me, too.

    Kristin - The Goat

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  13. I love "aha" moments like that. Had one today. Keep me in line that is for sure and I'm a lot happier when I've had them

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  14. That Kyle has a ton of wisdom! I've loved reading about your camping trip, it sounded wonderful!

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  15. Beautiful ... and very wise! :)

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  16. That's why it's a perfect shot......because it CAN'T be duplicated

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  17. that is a framer for sure! :)

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