CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Say cheese!
As the graduation months wind down and summertime ramps up, picture-taking season is getting into full swing.
In an age where everyone's a photographer thanks to the inexpensiveness of digital media, it's hard not to get your picture taken.
It doesn't cost much, so why leave memories to your memory when you can have it in pixels?
Back when every click of your camera was an actual shutter mechanism releasing and every exposure cost a few pennies, photos had to count for something, so you saved them for occasions - birthdays, recitals, weddings and the like.
That might explain why my mom's snapshots from that time were few and far between. Efforts to take candid images of her in everyday life were met with scowls and protests - and you can see them in the pictures. So it was rare indeed to just have a pleasant shot of her in, say, her pajamas after Saturday morning breakfast with her hair up and her face unmade.
It may not have been a special occasion to her, but a moment like everyone being home from college was something I wanted to capture, whether or not she was "ready" for a photo.
Twenty years down the line, I have the same problem with my wife, Kris. If I want to take a picture of our children and she's in a T-shirt and warm-ups, she will order me to keep her out of the frame.
At some point I began applying sentiment and guilt to loosen her up: "One day, your children will want to see pictures of you and them when you were young and they won't have any."
She began lightening up.