Bob Lee

Over the weekends, I was honoured to be invited by Canon Singapore to learn photography tips from Bob Lee 李欣赏. No, I am not obliged to blog about this. But, I want to! Because I was so touched by how real Bob is, and how he chooses to quit his job to bring his son (who is autistic) everywhere to the park to let him fluorish on his own with nature, the thought of this stayed with me for many days to think of how we bring up our kids. Besides sharing on his easy ABCDE photography tips, I wish to share my parenthood takeaway thoughts here.

Bob Lee was a photojournalist with Zao Bao and My Paper. He quitted his job to be with his son. His story on his baby a few years back used to entertain me on the way to my workplace. And I simply love the way he writes and captures pictures so much that I proclaim to be one of his ardent fans. I was so glad I could meet him in person and listened to how he shared his heartwarming bonding stories with his son.

He taught us on the basics of photography and nothing technical at all. If he had gone into technical details, it would have bored most of the bloggers there, many whom are mamas who use just normal compact cameras. But he touched on ABCDE………Z of how to take good photos of your child.

A – Angle
Get down on the floor or eye level of your child to take pictures
B – Bokeh
It is a shallow focus technique, blurry background while object in focus is clear
C – Continuous Mode
Press on the shutter continuously to capture child’s active movement
D – Distance
Taking picture from a distance can tell a story different from taking close up.
E- Exposure
Amount of light per unit area. Shifting the camera or yourself slightly can yield different light exposure and hence different effects.
F………Z
Keep on shooting!

The gist of it is to take a picture that tells a story. Every photo tells a story. What story do you want to tell? Small details in the background could suddenly become an important ingredient in telling a picture story.

As Bob showed us many of his pictures to emphasize these techniques, he shared with us the stories behind each of them. He is humorous and fun. He told us that to share out one smiling photo of his son, 99 other photos are pictures of cries. He took all types of expressions of his son. He finds his angry expression interesting. He finds tantrums interesting. He finds his simple drawings interesting. He finds the toilet training way beyond toddler age a precious milestone to appreciate. He finds the back view of his son endearing. He takes pictures of everyday mundane life in a touching angle that tells a thousand words. From all the photos that he took of his son and wife, his simplicity in the outlook of life struck a chord inside me so tender it puts tears to my eyes.

Being a parent certainly has his set of challenges. What’s more with a child with special needs? Sometimes in life, we take our healthy children so much for granted, we fail to appreciate simple milestones. We treat all milestones as ordinary development, with happiness lasting no more than a day or 2. If our kids get a B+ for their exams, we think it’s no good enough and lament that they should achieve better. Sometimes, we find children’s non-stop chatter getting on our nerves, but there are parents out there who feel triumphant over a mutter of one unclear word. While we need to nip lies in the bud, there is a mother who shed tears of happiness when she knew that her special needs son lied about eating a biscuit (Lying is a form of showing wit). Are we ever satisfied with our children?

Bob has shared with us on ABCDE of photography that day. Unknowingly, he has shown me the ABCDE of parenthood. Back to my blog’s tagline and what I always believe in:

A simple mum who believes in giving her children the ability to enjoy the simple things in life.

It’s the simple things that make us happy. Treasure our kids as they are and appreciate their abilities no matter how small they might be.

Here is my ABCDEs of parenting:

A – Angle
Look at your children at a different angle and appreciate their abilities
B – Bokeh
Blur your children’s shortfalls and focus on their strengths
C – Continuous
Continuous encouragement to your children in whatever they do
D – Distance
Keeping a comfortable distance from your children to allow space for them to grow
E – Exposure
Give children enough “exposure” to make mistakes and learn from there

What are your basic tips for parenting?