Picture the scene
A Victorian style school with wooden style flip-up desks, girls gossiping behind them whilst pretending to get something out of them, boys trying to slam each other’s fingers in them.
That is a trip down memory lane for me. Just before my last year of Primary school started my family moved from what was the budding metropolis of Milton Keynes to a sleepy little village in Northamptonshire called Raunds.
I found myself moving from a modern purpose built school with over 40 pupils to a classroom to this little Victorian school that still had its air raid shelter (re-purposed as an art supplies cupboard) and much smaller classes. And those flip up wooden desks, complete with holes in the top where ink pots would have originally gone. Those desks were such a novelty to me and I quickly discovered somewhere I could take a sneaky bite of my packed lunch on the pretence of getting something out of the desk. Amazing!
Since starting up my photography business I’ve hankered after one of those desks for my studio. Many misspent hours of searching on eBay, Gumtree and the like or visiting antique centres drew blanks or desks so expensive they couldn’t possibly be viable. Finally, after a drunken night bidding on eBay (not to be recommended kids) I’d secured a beautiful solid oak 100-year-old flip up desk and seat. The only issue was that it was 350 miles away in Warwickshire and ‘collection in person only’. Whoops!
Thank heavens for mums
Luckily Pocket Mum lives quite near and got a friend to pick it up and then, somehow, got it into her convertible mini and drove it up to me. Result!
You might be wondering why I wanted one of these desks and what the heck I’m going to do with it in my studio? Well, my friends, if I had a £1 for every time I hear one of my pals moan about their kids’ school photos I could be sunning myself in the Maldives right now instead of watching the snow slowly melt. Kids only getting seconds in front of the camera, not getting to include their siblings, hair/face/uniform all a mess and then the cost of getting prints (and feeling dead guilty if you don’t buy them – even if you just stick them in a drawer because you don’t want to put them on the wall).
And then there are the parents that proudly display their children’s first day at school pictures on social media. Not realising that taking them outside their front door is giving cybercriminals yet another piece of personal data to piece together to potentially steal their identity (door numbers, street names, etc).
I hear you
This year I want to offer Back to School Mini Sessions. Using the desk as a prop, I’m going to offer affordable 30-minute studio sessions with your kids in their shiny new school uniform. They’ll get time in front of the camera, you’ll get digital images you want to hang on your walls and share with your families.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sandwich in my desk that is begging me to take a bite…:-)