The making of a “simple” snapshot: a photo essay in four frames

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Last night, as she tucked our son into bed, my lovely and talented wife came into the office in search of the camera. Our conversation went something like this:

Wife: “Where’s the camera? I need to take a picture of your son. How do you get this thing off the tripod?”

Tripod head

Me: “Wait a second. You’re going to need some light.”
Wife: “This is supposed to just be a quick snapshot.”
Me: “Do you want a blurry mess or do you want to be able to see what’s in the photo?” (Set flash to TTL BL, +1 EV, on-camera, oriented to bounce off ceiling and adjacent wall. Camera set to ISO 200, P mode, +0.7 EV)

SB-800 Speedlight

Me: “Oops, you’re going to need some film.”
Wife: Grrr.

Flash memory

Me: “There you go.”
Wife: *Click!*
Me: “Hey, presto!”


Scene and composition: The Lovely and Talented Wife
Camera setup: Me

John Watson

John is the original founder of Photodoto, but after running it for 4 years he had to focus on different things. If you're interested in what John has been up to recently, you can check is personal blog or browse his photo blog.
  • David Naylor

    Haha, wonderful! :)

  • rik

    i think my wife and i have had the exact same conversation…i’m not sure, though. all i remember is her “grrr.”

    awesome stuff, john =]

  • Jaime

    Well that was worth it. :)

    On another note, I think the Curious George in the picture was recalled. I got one for my sister’s kid for Christmas, and found out it had a high lead content. :(

  • John Watson

    Thanks for the heads up Jamie. Certainly looks like the same one.

  • Bryan Villarin

    Nice! Great shot.

  • Erin

    haha, sounds like my husband…though usually when I start with that he just hands the camera back to me and says “I have no idea what you are talking about…you do it.”

  • Phil

    That’s why I have a point-and-shoot. Of course, my pictures don’t look as good as yours. But, to me, it’s more about just capturing the memory. At least that’s what I tell myself until I can afford a better camera.

  • mike

    I have that exact same Curious George! It came with a red fireman’s hat and a book!

    Um. I mean. I’m a grownup and have no time for toys.

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  • Stew

    Ha good one! My wife and I go through similar things, though I practically have to *beg* her to even touch my DSLR.

    See, spouses *can* do photography together!

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  • Herman

    Is it strange that I found those camera settings completely natural and something you would do within 5 seconds? (so actually making it quick).