That singing baby picture

I woke up to a nice email from one of our readers this morning complimenting me on the photograph of the “singing” baby on page one.

The reader wrote “Whether yawning or singing, this child’s photo is a marvelous way to start a new month filled with abundant expressions of holiday cheer.”


What a nice thing to say and think. When I visited the Venango Chorus rehearsal the other day to make some photographs, it was mostly with the intention of getting photos to go in our weekly guide of things going on called Good Times. When I arrived to this church, I heard beautiful, well-done music and saw this scene.


A typical scene for a rehearsing chorus inside a church, except for the guy in the front row with a baby. So I made my pictures and I hung out. (A perk of my job is I can hang out and get some quality entertainment while I work making pictures … one of my secrets is I can spend a little more time and just say – ‘yeah, I just wasn’t really getting a good photo so I had to really work to find my frame!” Which is sometimes true and sometimes I just want to experience the scene in a deeper way and enjoy my job.)

So my eye kept going back to this baby because it is an unusual part of a chorus rehearsal. I wanted to make a picture that spoke about our quiet but incredibly important life … a picture about our life and family. And I wanted it to be a fun, yet meaningful, picture. When I saw the baby yawn, I had wished everyone was singing at the same time so it would really speak of the visual play of his appearing to be actually singing along with the chorus. Unfortunately, they were discussing a section and not singing. I worked this for several minutes hoping the baby would yawn again, but never quite got it.

I was going to abandon the idea entirely but still decided to give the picture to my editors as a cute picture that we thought our readers would like. So, receiving that email today made me feel happy that I still went with it, despite not getting the frame I really wanted.

While working the picture, I also made another touching photo of a dad’s love.


I have been working on a very informal series on dads’ love over the last year or two and thought this image fit into that series. During this season of reflection (wish we didn’t have just a season of this!), I thought it might be nice to share this photograph in hopes that more dads reflect on the time they take with their children. Then maybe take the time to share a moment or two.

And, yes, I do think about all this stuff when I’m working on making pictures for the paper and hope somehow it shows up in the images I make.