Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Would you like fries with that?


 It was inevitable.

No matter how much I tried to ignore it, pretend it wasn’t happening, it was. My first born son was growing up. And today I have taken a picture that will help tell his story for years to come. He starts his new job at McDonalds on Wednesday, and this, as they say, is just the beginning. 

Austin, (left) was born premature, and came into this world a mere 2.8lbs. On the day of his birth, one of the doctors performing an emergency C-Section on my wife in an effort to save both of their lives was not keen on me bringing my camera into the operating room. Once he saw it, he told me to put it away. So I did, but not before taking a quick reading thru the built in light meter, pre focusing on (roughly) the area where I thought our baby would emerge, and then respectfully placing my 1968 Minolta SRT200 SLR on a small accessory table just behind me.

After what seemed like an eternity, all the voices in the operating room, the noises made from the equipment and the clanging of surgical tools being dropped into stainless steel bowls…all of that, slowly faded into silence as the words ‘it’s a boy’ came from the masked doctor, holding the baby in his hands.  This little miracle, a little boy, so tiny, so teeny, he was the reason why everybody was in the operating room that day. It was because he decided to come into this world 8 weeks ahead of schedule.

He was beautiful, and I just had to have my picture.

Like Jackie Chan reaching for a mop head and a broom to fend off the bad guys, I quickly and precisely reached for and grabbed my SLR, aimed, adjusted, and fired.

< CLICK! > The mechanical sound of the cameras shutter gave me away. The very doctor holding my newborn son was now yelling at me to put the camera down, and in the same sentence and breath, ordering the nearest nurse to put that camera out of reach of the over- excited new father. I heard him, but his voice was so distant. All I could think of was that our son was born, he was here, he was really here, and he was…squeaking (versus crying) because of his size. I got my son, I got my picture. Mission accomplished. I tried not to let the doctor see me smirking behind my surgical mask.

That was 15 years ago, and today my young man asked me to photograph him in his snazzy new McDonald’s Uniform. His first job, his first real pay check, his first of many firsts yet to come.

So out comes the camera, out comes the lights, the extension cords, the light stands and we start shooting. I later learned that his idea of me ‘taking his picture in his uniform’ was simple snapshot, nothing fancy. Yea right, like that’s going to happen!

But this got me thinking; sometimes there are things that we simply must do in our lives, and for those things, we have to do them ‘our way’

For starters, taking pictures of the ones we love. Those times with your family are precious, so take those pictures the best way you know how and own that moment.

Secondly, make every moment count with the ones you love, because each moment that passes is just another moment you can never relive. Like that day in October, 1994, when Austin was born. The doctor had told me not to take any pictures, but the way I saw it, it was not his moment, it was my moment, my wife’s moment, this was Austin’s moment. That’s 3 against 1. Sorry Doc, but I had to get my picture.

It was inevitable.


 Kevin Kratka


stock photos said...

very interesting story. i love how your son is starting at mcdonalds and has all his work gear on but then has a wendys glass in his hand. fast food nation ;-)

Kim (Liv Life) said...

Loved that story! My son is just 14 and started high school 4 days ago. I had similar thoughts as I walked him walk away from my car, never looking back. We didn't do it quite as professionally as you did, but I got my picture too!