My husband wanted to learn to take *really* good pictures.
My suspicion is that he wanted to become a photgrapher, and something held him back. Self-doubt, I suspect. He was so very intelligent, with a keen sense of people, and such very low self esteem.
He had striking green eyes, and more than that, he had a good eye for seeing the beautiful. He would’ve made a great photographer.
We went so far as to buy him a camera one year, at Costco, where their exclusive bundles give great value for the price.
The camera stayed in its box, unopened, for months. When the holidays rolled around, and money was tight, I gently suggested that we return the camera to buy presents for our youngsters, with the assurance that we could get him a new one when our tax return came in. My generous husband readily agreed.
So, a second camera was his Valentine’s Day present.
It too remained unopened for a long time. It too was returned, to help us through a tight spot.
We repeated this cycle three more times. Five cameras, none of which was removed from the box. The photos he did take were usually snapped with his iPhone camera.
When our Girl expressed an interest in taking pictures, I suggested to my husband that he and she go together to a photography class. Father/daughter bondo – how sweet would that be? He was receptive to the idea at first. With each camera returned, he became more despondent about the subject, though never giving up on it completely.
The next camera I bought for him (and I truly bought it, working my butt off to save money that I had earned through odd jobs, while also being a stay-at-home-mom), I determined would not be returned. I threw away the receipt. I unpacked the camera and threw away the box!
We ended up selling it on eBay.
The final camera, bought in early 2014, was a decent one – a Canon Rebel Eos t5 1200D
Maybe not top of the line, but good for taking some pictures. Probably a little more advanced than a beginner needs, but my husband liked his things to be beyond the basics. He loved features!
This time, I didn’t throw away the box. Still, I set my mind to keeping it. I unpacked the camera, and put it in its carrying case, putting its box out of sight. I was careful with our budget and refused to consider the idea of selling that camera. It sat on a shelf for months.
Until Christmas 2014.
We’d had such a pleasant Thanksgiving that we decided to do something similar for Christmas. We four along with my mother, and his two daughters from his first marriage and the eldest one’s four year old son, all gathered at my husband’s mother’s house. And the camera went along with us. We took many pictures that day, and it was one of the best Christmases we’d had, ever. I was grateful for that in the moment, and in retrospect, my gratitude has grown exponentially.
I still have his camera. A month after he passed away, I offered it to my Girl to use, with the uncharacteristically stern admonition that we have to take good care of it, and she was not permitted to have it in her biohazard of a room at all, for any reason.
My guess is that my restrictions played a part in her decision to not use the camera, along with her assertion that it’s more complex than she preferred. I bought her a smaller Nikon, which she loves, and uses sometimes. My husband’s camera, I used to take wedding pictures. A friend of mine got married in my backyard in October 2015. My Girl and I were the photographers, and we had a ball. I loved playing hostess as well, but that’s another post entirely.
My own interest in learning photography is growing. It started slow, very casually. My photos are quick snaps with my phone, usually in the mornings, usually while I’m out for a run. Thus far, I’ve been resistant to the idea of going out to take pictures just for the sake of taking pictures.
My resistance is fading. My husband’s camera is still in my closet, and although it’s more high-tech than I prefer (so much to learn!), I have it. It’s a good camera. As I peruse various blogs and see the pics they post, my desire to learn and practice grows ever stronger. Within the past couple days, I’ve run across the photography portfolio blog of Paul Militaru, whose work has thoroughly impressed me, and I’ve become nearly consumed by a need to take pictures.
It’s time for the camera to come down from the shelf.
From here, I will share with you some of the photos we’ve taken, with various devices
With my husband’s Canon:
With my Girl’s Nikon:
With my phone: