For years now I have been wishy washy about procreation. I like the thought of making babies, just not having them. Generally speaking, I am around kids all day, everyday. I value my time with my wife, with friends and with myself highly. I guard my time. The thought of having a kid crying in the background when I am trying to get my Game of Thrones on makes me want to barf up in my mouth. Selfish? Sure.
So why have a portrait shoot with a family and their kid at the risk of losing that precious alone time? Shooting the kid means that I have more time with his parents. Shooting this little guy was not an emotional experience for me. I did not get warm fuzzies or that "Ah, isn't that sweet" feeling. Basically, I was emotionally uninvolved with the central subject. However blase (a typical feeling for me) I felt about the subject is seemingly opposite to the thoughts I had about the parents.
Knowing Amber and Roger has felt like a journey in itself. Meeting "Ramber" in San Francisco. Grocery shopping for the first time in Korea together. Camping in Namhae. Lazing the days away in Laos together. Amber's pregnancy. Sauna after sauna with Rog. Business ventures together. Scotch. Scotch. Scotch. Watching Roger and Amber grow as a couple and now, having their child. Though it has only been four years, Roger and Amber seem like family and witnessing their change has been a great privilege.
Thinking about Roger and Amber as parents is difficult for me. Why? The answer is simple. I am jealous of their child. It is a shame that a 31 year old man could be envious of a new born. My man (Roger) now has a new man.
To the big baby (me), it seemed that Roger cared less about me because of his new time restraints. But the fact is, Roger doesn't care less about me. He just cares a whole GD lot about his baby and his family. He is now a father and truly a man.
Regardless of my need for attention, I recognize that everything is a wheel, effortlessly turning. Without baby August, Roger and Amber would not be able to enter a new cycle in their life. Thus, we would not be able to enter a new cycle in our friendship.
Perhaps this shoot was important, not because I was allowed to steal back some of Roger and Amber's time, but because a baby taught me something greater about life. Without change, we drift into eroded ruts. I have baby to thank for helping me to see that we must have catalysts for new growth. While pondering this I found myself not feeling so blase about the kid anymore. I kinda felt a bit warm and freaking fuzzy.
Do I want kids now? Not just yet. But, I am more philosophically inclined to sow spawn now than I was before. Perhaps a little me would be the spark I need to move into my next life cycle, the spoke to turn my wheel.
Cliche? Of course. But, isn't everything?
Award winning photographer based in Tokyo, Japan. Specializing in portrait photography, he shoots a variety of portraiture, editorial, and event, and commercial photography assignments. Andy is a husband, father, and lover of fried food.