Oscar after his nap…soft around the edges, little body still bleary and warm.

i love this photo. alas, i did not take this photo. Kate came over for an afternoon a few weeks ago, and the lens she pointed at us offered up faces of my son i’d never seen before. she has a wicked eye. she also has a wicked camera.

i once, in the last days of film, invested a few years training my own eye to frame and capture photojournalistic images of the lines and structures and stories that hid in plain sight in the exotic places i journeyed…i have a photo essay of the sectarian murals of Belfast, one of the rooftops of Busan, South Korea, and one of the cats of Istanbul. but i never did master the details of focus and aperture and lighting enough to get my old warhorse K-1000 to take great shots of people, particularly children…they’re twitchy little creatures.

i’d like to try. Dave & i have been talking, and the truth is there’s not much we plan on buying for this new baby. some kind of nursing rocker, oh yes o aching, withered core muscles, oh yes…but beyond that, we’re into hand-me-downs and intend for O and Bebe to share a room, at least for awhile. so we thought maybe we might spend on this child in the place that second-borns – or second-brought-homes – get notoriously shortchanged: photos. we’re in the market for a good camera.

what we have right now is a little hp Photosmart R817…fine for snapshots, but slow, and the light and focus are never great. i want something i can manually adjust. i want something quick, that can capture a first smile rather than the blur of a turning head three seconds later. it doesn’t have to be top of the line. it doesn’t have to be the deal of the century, either. i want advice.

what’s your camera?  what do you like about it?  what doesn’t it do well?  got any recommendations?