Kids, their teeth and a photograph or two…
A wee while ago I photographed two young brothers in the studio. It was a manic session, with play fighting turning in to all out wrestling on the white seamless paper backdrop. It was great fun. As usual Mum got a bit upset that they were “playing up” – they weren’t, but Mum’s always feel like that no matter how much I try to reassure them. I let the kids play, after all it is a different, exciting environment, let them remember it as being a laugh rather than an annual torture session – after all, I’d love them to come back some time!
After they had gone I sat down and edited the images. I was really happy with them – a mixture of serious and fun, colour, black and white, funny angles, and some silly shots that I always include even if they won’t make the final cut to the wall frame. As I was putting together the funky slideshow the next day the doorbell rang. It was Mum.
OK, not to sound so dramatic she did say she would pop back later with a wee cheque – but apart from that she was very anxious to know how the images had come out. The youngest boy, it turned out, tripped and fell on the way home and knocked out a long row of teeth. He would never look the same again…except in my photographs.
When Mum came back for her showcase I’m not sure she could see them through her tears.
Sometimes I get so caught up in the technical aspects of being a photographer and running a photography business that I forget what a beautiful thing it is to be able to capture images for people to keep as memories and reminders, especially for children, who change in the blink of an eye. When I look through my wedding album I see there are four family members amongst our guests who are no longer with us, only eight years on I treasure that album more than ever.
I think in this age of easy-come-easy-go digital photography we all forget how photographs can make us feel – until we’re reminded like that.
(but hey don’t get me wrong, I’m still not shooting weddings!)