Post by Jason Plotkin
Last Friday, my almost 12-year-old daughter, Hannah, was off from school and I offered to take her with me on assignment to Nixon Park to photograph the backyard bird count.
She was less than thrilled. “That doesn’t sound very fun.” she said.
Now, I know I’m not cool. Never was. Never will be. And I’m sure my clock is running out on the time that my daughters are going to want to spend time with me. Or even remotely pretend they are listening to me.
But I keep plugging along. Trying my best to teach them lessons. Throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping something sticks.
One of the things I believe in is attitude. It’s one of the few things in this world I feel you can control. Going into assignments of all kinds, if my attitude is poor and I think the shoot is going to be crappy, than I’m gonna come out of it with a crappy photograph or video.
So I took her to Nixon Park and Hannah brought her ipod touch and took photos of the variety of animals on display at the York County Park, posting them on Instagram for all her friends to see. Trying to teach her about attitude also turned into lessons about patience and focus.
A lot of what I do is waiting.
Waiting for events to start.
Waiting for moments to happen.
The best part of the assignment was, while in the middle of trying to explain focus to her, I totally lost mine. While waiting for one of the birds to appear, I got a fun photo idea.
“Dude, you have to let me take a photo of you running away from the Polar bear!”
So much for focus. But, we got a cool photo.
My daughter’s assessment of coming with me? “That was cool.” she said.
I’m not one to say “I told you so.” So I just said “See???”
The next day I took her with me to photograph Patrick Sells, a local artist who I am spending time with. He is building a statue of a horse for a client and I am documenting the process. Thrilling for me. Would it be for Hannah?
We were there for hours and Hannah got to see some really neat things. I think we worked in patience, appreciation for new experiences and some just plain fun into our time there at Patrick used welding tools to show off his artistic skills.
She even got to wear a welding helmet.
After we left, she thanked me for taking her along and said she had a good time. Even though we were there for a long time.
It was a great time for me. I love sharing this world with people. And if my kids get something out of it, all the better.