We are nearing the end of a two week beach trip, made possible by my parents who own a house at the beach, and it is amazing to see the transformation of my 5 year old, F, in the water over the last 11 days. He has gone from swimming pretty well to swimming really well, from not being able to go to the bottom to pick stuff up to being able to go all the way to the bottom of the deep end, from wanting to hold our hands when he jumps in to, well, this amazing cannonballing, belly flopping, jumping boy. It be stills my swimming heart.
So, in wanting to capture as much as I can for his dad to see (traveling without my husband for almost two weeks is a post on its own…I’m tired!) I have tried various ways to best capture this emerging fish of mine.
The DSLR of mine was never a choice. Too big, too clunky, too very easily dropped in the water and ruined forever. My iphone was a pretty good substitute – while the pictures aren’t as good the phone is protected from water splashes by my ever-so-big-but-I-love-it-anyways otter box – and I did manage to get what quickly became a series of photos for my instagram page of him jumping in the pool over and over.
But when I was watching him under water, and seeing his smile, and how happy he was, I really wanted to capture that. I went to the store and looked at all my options for underwater cameras, generally ranging from $99 to $400, and was tempted to go for a lower price model when I decided I would go retro instead and bought, wait for it, a disposable underwater camera. Yes, they still make them. I did have to double check that I could actually get film developed somewhere in town, but for $13 I couldn’t beat the price, even if it was more work than a fancy little camera.
We jumped in the pool while my 2 year old was napping, and we snapped away. He posed, he danced, he jumped, he asked if he could see the pictures and if I could delete some and had a very hard time understanding that this wasn’t a digital camera so no, he couldn’t see them and no, we couldn’t delete them, but in the end we took 27 pictures in about 6.5 minutes.
After dropping them off for 1 hour developing (yes, it still exists!) and returning to pick them up I was pleasantly surprised. They were better than I thought they would be, but not quite as good as I had hoped they would be. But, at the end of the day, F got to see what he looked like under water and I have some photos to take back of our amazing adventures at the beach. I have learned that sometimes thinking out of the box, or perhaps in the past, is a good way to create memories of traveling.