I do not like chipmunks. Though my actions say otherwise.

I’ve decided my commitment to being a photographer and mamarazzi can no longer be classified as an artistic passion, hobby, ________fill in the blank. Plain and simple I am capital O Obsessed with photography. I have a crazy, four-padded wall Obsession. I can no longer deny the level of my neuroticism when the evidence was plainly staring me in the face last night. And after today neither will you be able to deny it either. I believe you will admittedly agree that Jesse, the Z[squared] Mamarazzi, flew over the Coo’ Coo’s nest. Without further ado I present my proof of insanity for your review.

Enter exhibit A:


Exhibit A is a project for Izzy’s class. In her 4K classroom the teacher sends a class “pet”, a Build-a-bear: Alvin; from Alvin and the Chipmunks home with a different kid each week. By the way her class named him Alvin (creative, eh?).This past week was my daughter’s turn, and today she had to bring Alvin back to school. At the end of Alvin’s stay each family documents what he did during his time in their home. Last night was my turn to complete the documentation. The document (exhibit A) goes in the class binder and travels with Alvin for everyone to see what  he’s been up to.

Okay, so the concept is pretty simple, right? And the binder’s contents reflect that simplicity. Parents take some quick snapshots of their kiddos, slap it on paper, stick it in the binder, write some quick notes and move on with their lives…That is until it was my turn. Exhibit A speaks for itself to the level of my sanity does it not?

Enter Exhibit B:

Further proof of my insanity is my inner thought processes. I pontificated on the project the entire week my daughter had “Alvin”. In the back of my mind, and any time I was around Alvin & Izzy I asked myself; what scenarios do I want to photograph? What imagery will reflect her experiences with Alvin? What will she want to remember about their time together? How can I best re-create the story ……Are you starting to see how obsessed is a fitting description for my ailment?

Enter Exhibit C:

The volume of photographs. This is last defense of my insanity that I will present. It is also what I am most embarrassed by. Reviewing the photographs for my…I mean “Izzy’s” project (That’s funny you can laugh) is when I realized how truly foregone I’ve become. I took 30, just kidding I took 130 photos for this concept! No exaggerations here. I took 130 photos of a stuffed chipmunk.

Now lets compare. I am guessing accounting for the silly facial expression problems kids give parents in front of a camera the average parent in my daughter’s classroom took oh maybe 6 photos total for this project (there were on average 2-3 photos in the final project). So there you go. 130 pictures to whittle down and create a 8 1/2″x 11″ story. I feel the need to deflect your focus and change the subject….is it supposed to rain today?

Truth be told, Izzy B is NOT very camera happy. She makes it extremely challenging to get a good image of her. She actively avoids the camera at all costs. I do have to go to extremes to get a semi-decent smile facial expression from her. For every one good photograph I’ve taken of Iz, unless it is a truly photojournalistic expression (i.e. not posed), I probably have 15-20 poor ones. In her own words: “Mommy, I am not going to look at the camera, because I just don’t like cameras, and I don’t like getting my picture taken”. Well played Izzy, well played.

Even with the “my daughter runs away from the camera” counter-argument presented, I still feel like the evidence speaks for itself. Her distaste for cameras does not justify the sheer volume of photographs I took. There is no defense of that. I am bona-fide obsessed with photography. In the end, will Izzy even remember this? Most likely not. Will the “story” being told matter to her or anyone else? No. I did this project with the “passion” I did because it made me happy. That’s all. I gained gratification from the process, and joy in the results. Nothing more, nothing less. 

Ultimately I am embracing the obsession with open arms. Happily boarding the crazy-train because, well, nothing quite compares to the feelings being creative can provide. So; the real question is: Who’s game? Anyone want to join me on the farm? For those who’ve boarded it already: when did you “know” you were committed to your art beyond reason?

Because I can’t resist, here are the pictures I “slapped” on her project.

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This entry was published on March 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm. It’s filed under Art, Birthday, Photography, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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