Sunday, September 1, 2013

Portrait of a princess

I miss photography. A few years ago my camera was my constant companion. I could spend hours and hours with it, taking photos of everything I could think of. Then I guess I just got busy being the mom and just haven't had time for it. I still use it for photo shoots with my kids, and of course the ever important nail polish photography, but now, sadly, my camera is on its last leg. I've taken thousands and thousands of photos with it over the past several years and it has finally stopped being reliable. I'm having weird focus issues with it, I'm getting error messages on it and the shutter is having issues. So these days taking photos is kind of a chore and I usually end up wanting to chuck it out the window.

But this afternoon Clarissa came into my bedroom dressed in her too-small plastic princess shoes, striped leggings, bright pink tutu, the My Little Pony t-shirt that she would live in 24/7 if I didn't insist that she occasionally pick something else, and her princess tiara. Don't try to call it a crown. It's a TIARA. I made that mistake. She set me straight.

That outfit is both hilarious and 100% Clarissa. That little girl is a bonafide glittery princess through and through. She looked so cute and so...CLARISSA that I had to take her picture before the moment passed.

So I grabbed my ailing camera and we did our best. Clarissa loves being a princess but does not really love getting her picture taken. I'm often sad that her real personality rarely comes out in photos. She's such a ham and has so much personality in real life and the camera goes on and she gets stone faced. Clarissa is a child who is best enjoyed in person. Preferably during a tea party or a princess parade. :)

So between a child who doesn't really enjoy getting her picture taken and a camera with an attitude problem, they aren't award winning photos, but I kind of love them anyway. They make me smile and they make me remember why I love both Clarissa and photography so much. Sitting on her bedroom floor talking about princesses and tiaras while trying to capture the lighting through her windows and those classic Clarissa expressions made me happy.

When I was finished I decided to play with them in Photoshop for a while, which I also used to love. Back when I was really into photography there was nothing that I loved more than loading a new set of photos into Photoshop and letting my creative juices flow. I don't usually do this type of editing with portraits, I usually save it for art photography, but today that old familiar excitement hit me when I loaded up Photoshop and I decided it was time to play around again. I'm surprised that I still remember how to do some of the grunge techniques I haven't done in so long.

I'm grateful for an afternoon of feeling inspired by a four year old in a bright pink tutu and plastic princess shoes. I'm saving up for a new camera to replace my faithful old friend who is ready to retire. In the meantime, here are a few of the last photos I have managed to coax out of it. :)

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