Have I ever told you about WHY I do this job?
Well, actually more about why I love making photographs for families. It’s a pretty personal and emotional post coming up, though today is national Time to Talk day so it’s allowed, right?
Here it is… the reason I love making photos
A simple photo of myself and my mother. I cried when I seen this for the first time a few years ago. There are probably more/ better photos of us somewhere, though not many (3rd child, right). This one spoke to me because of the moment. My mother is my best friend. She’s the one that I go to. We’re similar in all kinds of ways, good and bad.
Here’s another reason…
Taken the same day as the one above it looks like, a picture of me and my father. A rare sunny day in Ireland so the camera came out! I don’t remember much about my childhood if I’m honest. So these photos and the other handful I have are precious. They are the only tangiable proof that we existed as a family in 1986. If there’s not many pictures of myself and my mother then there’re even less with my dad. They split up when I was 8 and there’re none of just the three of us. Which I feel sadness about.
Like all families we had ups and downs. I feel closer to my parents now more than ever before.
Having been raised by and feeling close to not just my parents but my lovely grandparents too. They provided a second home, and my aunts and uncle a third and fourth. I always had somewhere I could go and someone that was looking out for me. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well here I am, except the village is my whole family.
My paternal Grandad died this month. He left a lot of heartbroken people behind. He was an amazing man. I know we are inclined to say that about everyone that passes but this one was something else. I realised something during his funeral. I realsied that we’re not invincible. Not our parents, not us and not our children.
This is him and me and below is him with my first born. Precious.
During his funeral I realised that our memories are all we have at some points in our lives. If we don’t have memories, for instance the time when we’re babies or even years before we’re born then we have photos. They fill the gaps. They tell the story. They shape our existence and the ideas we possess about ourselves. They are evidence of a life lived, a character that is familiar or unfamiliar to us.
My parents before they had any children!
They bring happiness and sometimes they bring sadness. We can hang them on the wall for a daily reminder or we can put them away for a day when we’re ready for them. Although if we don’t take the photos we don’t have the choice.
I know for some people it can seem a bit self indulgent to ask someone to take a photo of you, with your kids or parents or friends but feck it. Think about the next generation. Think about your children who will want to see you in the photo with them. Who will want to piece together their childhood with random beautiful moments frozen in time. They will become the keeper of your family’s memories.
I’m trying hard to do this for my boys. To get in the picture with them. They hate it as much as I do sometimes but I KNOW they will thank me for it one day. A camera can capture, when their minds could easily forget. If they can look back at photos of us and feel half as much emotion as I do when I look at those above then I’ll be happy.