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The first firefly I ever saw was in New Jersey. I was five or six at the time and remember clear as day that first night, in my cousin's backyard, mason jar in hand, sweaty palms, the air balmy and bloated with the kind of eastern humidity my west-coast self was not used to. That feeling of seeing and chasing and trying to capture while the fly while it's "on fire" is exactly how I feel taking photographs, specifically of my family. Which brings to me the first and one of my all-time favorite images ever taken... singing, "baby you're a fiiiiiirefly.." And indeed this photo was.
I took this picture of Archer and Fable Thanksgiving, 2008 when Fable was about the same age as Boheme and Reverie (two months) and Archer was a few months older than Fable (3 1/2).
I remember the moment clearly. Archer had asked to hold his sister and when I placed her on his lap she smiled. But it was the one picture of them NOT smiling that took my breath away. It was the first time Archer and Fable looked like partners. Like, "don't mess with us, we have each other's backs" and three years later that is still and absolutely the case.
This was the picture that launched a thousand moments, the beginning of the bond Archer and Fable so clearly hold and even as I type this now, in a room across the hall from the bedroom they share, I can hear them whispering back and forth between their beds, these SAME children in the picture, now reading stories with babies in their laps, Archer's eyes full of the same intensity and pride in big-brotherdom:
That's what I love about taking pictures: So many questions behind the lens, so many answers in front of it. Like spotting a moment, flashing in the dark, and in an instant, trapping it with eager hands.
I'm partnering with my ad network, Federated Media, to offer a $500 Best Buy gift card to those of you interested in sharing some of your favorite family photographs. Just upload your photo(s) to flickr.com and tag them with #CapturedPhotoContest_GirlsGoneChild. Be sure to make them "public" so I can see them. You may submit up to FIVE photos between now and December 24th, when the contest ends. I'll be judging them based on creativity, image quality and storytelling-through-family-photo ability and contacting the winner through flickr mail. In the meantime, I'll be posting some of my faves here on GGC, contest rules and regulations are here. Oh and I'd also love to hear the story behind your images so if you feel so inclined please share. Can't wait to see your photos! Good luck!