I stare down into an empty mug. A full cup of tea is happiness to me, and my cup has run dry. I still have another photo shoot to do. Grabbing my trusty camera bag, I leave the lobby of the hospital and head off to the maternity ward. I arrive at the client’s door and knock.
“Shhhh…. James is sleeping, and so is his Father.”
The young Mother ushers me in. Little baby James nursing at her breast sleeping. Daddy snoring on the fold out couch.
“Do you mind if I capture this moment, before I set up for the portraits you requested?”
“No… No. Not at all.”
Reaching into my bag and grabbing my Nikon camera and my 2x converter lens, I mount the lens onto the camera and turn it on. Bringing the picture into focus, then adjusting the aperture to let the right amount of light hit the image sensor, I see a perfect snapshot.
James sucking life-sustaining milk from his Mother’s breasts. One nipple held in his mouth, and the other in his hand. His Mother holding him in her arms, kissing his full head of black hair, dark circles under her eyes. A calm expression on her face. Daddy is stretched out on the couch in the background, mouth open and snoring.
“Perfect.” An audible snap comes from the mirror in the camera. “Are you ready for some portraits?”
“Yes, but I don’t know about my husband! Just get set up and I will wake him.”
I begin to set up my working area, as she wakes her husband. Grabbing some blankets, I line the bassinet with them.
“I’m awake. As awake as I’m going to be,” he says as he rubs his eyes.
I know that they want a perfect portrait of their newborn. Audible snaps come from my camera. I feel in all these pictures something is lacking. After taking the portraits requested, I put them to a slide show with some music. The slide show begins on my computer. I begin to shut the door and give them a private moment. They watch the slide-show, as Baby James is nursing looking up at his Mother and Father with big blue eyes. They see the pictures and begin to cry. I see the perfect picture and take one last photograph, finding what was lacking. Happiness. Another Moment. The beginning of a family. Snapshots of a Life.
I go to fill my mug with my life-sustaining liquid, tea. I think how funny it is that our lives are like photographs. Snapshots of moments, memories. Opening my journal, I pick up me pen. Then I take a large sip of tea, and begin to write my own story.
“Here are my stories. My memories. Snapshots of a life.”
This is my story I submitted to Mash Stories that was rejected. The three words that we were to use in our story were mug, happiness, and converter.
This is based on some truth, but I still consider it fiction. The day our son was born we did cried when we saw the photographs. I think that we became a family in that moment. It was then I thought about how you really do not see the beauty of a moment un til it is gone. When we capture photographs, we try to freeze those moments in time. When we tell stories we also try to capture those moments in time. The feelings and emotions that come with those moments. I think that photographers, are similar to writers. It is with their craft, they try to tell a story.
I am really happy with because it speaks about being human. Trying to capture the beautiful fleeting moments in our life, if only to hold onto them a little bit longer.