Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bonding over Photography

Dylan (photo credit: Chuck Bennorth)
Meet my oldest. Dylan's never met a hobby he didn't want to try. His wife Jamie jokes about his Christmas ornament collection from childhood, which they display on a small tree in the kitchen during the holidays. 

When my kids were growing up, each year I bought them an ornament to represent that year. If Dylan's wife Jamie had been my child, every ornament would have followed the theme of dance, her lifelong passion. Dylan's ornaments are very eclectic, representing football, basketball, fishing, hunting, roping, band; you get the picture. 

As an adult, Dylan has tried rock climbing, hiking, camping, bowling, paint balling, restoring an old motorcycle, making corn hole games, and he wants to try pickle ball soon. Jamie teases about his "hobby-of-the-month." 

When my husband first met Dylan, they started talking about photography. After awhile, Chuck wanted to help Dylan ease into photography with a fairly inexpensive starter camera, to introduce Dyl to some of the basics, and allow him to get a taste for the things that were possible with more advanced cameras. I'm sure Jamie wondered if this would be a passing phase, too. 

Right now, Dyl is using his sister's Canon with a couple different lenses, and he is already eyeing possible lens upgrades. Chuck has so many suggestions for future purchases. He says,  "I'm very good at spending other people's money." I think it's safe to say Dyls has been bitten by the photography bug, though. 
Chuck and Dylan discussing the merits of various lenses.

When we first got to Saint George over the Memorial Day weekend, everyone was hanging out in the living room. Dylan told Chuck he had something to show him. They slipped out of the room, and were gone for quite awhile. When Chuck returned, he told me Dylan had shown him some amazing photographs, some of his more recent shots from Lake Powell. 

"And you didn't think I'D want to see your pictures?" I asked Dylan.

"It's a guy thing, Shrink," was his excuse. 

At first, I felt a little disappointed that I hadn't been included, and then I realized what a blessing it is to have my son bond with his stepdad. It makes me so happy to watch Chuck interact with my children. He has keyed in to what's important to each one of them, and has had meaningful conversations about a variety of topics with my kids. For Dylan and Chuck, they have definitely bonded over photography.

Early Saturday morning, after Jamie had already left for her opening shift at the Cracker Barrel, Dylan tapped on our bedroom door. He was fully dressed, and ready to go. No words were spoken. We had plans for this early morning hour. The three of us were chasing another sunrise with our cameras; this time together. 

Early morning is a favorite time for all three of us. It gives us a chance to shoot during the golden hour, the hour or so after sunrise, and it's always a good time for quiet conversation. Chuck has shared so many technical tips with Dylan and me to improve our photos, and the three of us learn from each other by seeing the way each of us approaches the creative aspects of photography. 

Chuck and I bonded over photography, and now Dylan has joined us. I noticed Chuck talking about photography with Sierra and her boyfriend. Maybe it's only a matter of time before we convince all of our kids that this is the perfect hobby. 

Sunrise over Saint George, Utah

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