A compliment from a mother-in-law is a rare and wonderful thing, especially from my mother-in-law. She loves me, but even though I've been married to her son for years she still hasn't quite figured me out. She's a liberal, and was quite disappointed to learn I was moderate to conservative in some areas, and repeatedly reminds me of how highly she regards my liberal sister-in-law, the one who summers at Cape Cod.
But still she tests the waters ever so often, to see if I've made the conversion. Recently, she asked me if I'd support Hillary Clinton. I told her I thought as much of Hillary Clinton as I did Bush. Not knowing what to say, she gave me the Disapproving Look.
Larry gets the Disapproving Look, too, when he talks about his support for gun ownership. Or his guns. His mother probably blames me, even though he had the guns long before we met. In fact, I fell for him completely after watching him load his own bullets. I never knew people could load their own bullets. How sexy.
But I digress. As I said, my mother-in-law paid me a compliment. After I sent these photographs of the kids, she called and said, "Those pictures are exquisite. You have a good eye. You should consider doing this for money."
My own mother, an artist, told me the same thing last week, when I gave her a picture I'd taken of a bee. "Do you mind if I send this to a magazine?" she asked.
"Knock yourself out," I said.
"No, really," she replied. "Your pictures are really good. You should sell them."
I've had other similar suggestions since I posted other photos on my blog, from people I don't even know. Perhaps I should consider it. I do have a habit of turning my hobbies into income. I started writing as a hobby, now I'm a writer. I started sewing as a hobby several years ago, now I have a sideline sewing business. My interest in Pembroke Welsh Corgis turned into a small hobby kennel that is self-supporting.
But photography? I don't know. Photography is a Zen activity for me. I just kind of sit there with my camera and observe, capturing a perfect moment as I see it. Sometimes I'll look up and see my kids sitting there and the light will be just right and I'll grab my camera and get the shot.
But to go out and try to get candid moments of other people's kids, as my mother-in-law thinks I should? That would feel too much like work. Maybe I'll just make a few prints of my better insect and animal photos and see if they sell at the farmer's market. If they do, I'll phone my mother-in-law and tell her she might be on to something.
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