Why am I a Photographer?
Today, I’m sharing with you a photograph that was taken 46 years ago, of me.
Yup, those double chins and flappy ears belong to yours truly.
I keep this photograph hanging in my studio to show how newborn images have changed but also to keep it safe as it is one of the only pictures there is of me as a baby. I have written often about my lack of visual history that makes me cherish printed images.
Got me thinking..
Whilst cleaning the studio for the umpteenth time as I prepare to re-open it got me thinking about all the babies I have photographed in the last three years as a professional photographer. And many years before that.
What do the parents see when they look at those photos years later?
What will the kids in those photos think when they are older? When they become teenagers will they laugh at how they are posed? Will they wonder why they are in a bowl or bucket? Or have a giant headband on their head? Or a bonnet with teddy bear ears?
So I messaged my mum and asked her if she remembered the photo? Her response was,
It was at home. I couldn’t afford to go to a studio. So we put a white blanket on my bed and it was taken by one of your god parents who was into photography.
I guess that explains the slightly odd pose and the fact that it is kind of shot up my nose! Baby photography has come on a long way since then!
I asked her to tell me what she sees now, looking at that photo 46 years on. This is what she sent me,
My special first born girl. I see my baby girl that I knew would grow up into a wonderful woman.
Awww shucks! I decided to ask my Dad as well and he said,
A beautiful baby
How sweet is that!
When I look at this photo I see a smiley, chubby baby with mahoosive ears! I am clearly engaged and probably looking at my mum. I love how simple it is. It’s just me, no props or giant headbands in sight. My mum and my dad just see me, nothing else when I showed it to them all these years later. Well, just me and those massive lugs!!
As a photographer, I need to remember that it’s not all about how many different elements I can add to an image or how I pose a baby to fit in the latest prop. Yes, I know I sometimes get asked for those photos by parents. Or I get caught up in the latest trends. I’m not saying those photos should stop but I am saying I need to remember what the purpose of a photograph is.
They capture life moments. Moments of happiness that we’d love to last, to remember them ad to share them with our friends and family. They tell our stories.
This is the reason I am a photographer.