Son No 1 is learning about how the world works and doing a bit of shopping. He also likes looking at photographs and finding out about his relatives – more below. Image (c)Sarah-Jane Field 2014
I am a bit slow when it comes to understanding things properly. Blame it on the three pregnancies and years of baby-rearing, or the smart phone addiction, now scientifically proven to be making us all a lot less smart than we once were, or perhaps I was just born that way.
Despite the fact that taking family portraits has been part of my job for the last 15 months or so, I don’t think I fully grasped just why such photographs might be so very important to people until recently. Maybe I’m beginning to comprehend the value of photography because I’ve been studying and thinking about it rather a lot. Perhaps the afternoon that Son No 3 and my mother spent some time looking at old family photographs did it for me. Or the fact I am able to show my sons pictures of my late father, who at the end of his life was a rather lonely old man whose only exercise was to limp awkwardly from his flat in the centre of Bournemouth to the bookies round the corner and back again; mumbling to himself and clutching his betting slips on the way there and usually nothing on his return, or if anything at all, always far too little to make any difference to his life.
This is how I remember my father as that is how he was for the majority of my grown-up life but he wasn’t always quite like that and in fact had a fantastically interesting, albeit difficult, life. It’s great to be able to show the children more positive images of my dad and see them myself too, as well as more recent images.
Son No 3 who never met my father asks questions about my dad all the time, and about other members of our family, as he grows and tries to make sense of where he fits in the world with no living older relatives other than my mother, who is thankfully a very young granny. How she hates that word! And you might be able to see why when you look the photograph of her below in her 20s holding the baby me. Nevertheless she is a good granny and when she and Son No 3 looked through the old albums he recognised family resemblances and was quite convinced that my long dead grandmother was me – although she seems to have been much more elegant than I could ever be.
These old photographs have become really important for my children and perhaps when they are older they will be more so. Nearly all families possess such collections and perhaps they don’t get looked at very often but they become incredibly precious over time, poured over during moments of change or upheaval. Or just now and again when people can find half an hour to tear themselves away from their smart phones and chat through who everyone is or was with an inquisitive two-year-old.
If you’re thinking about having some family portraits done, do get in touch. We can discuss what sort of thing you’re after and make sure you’ve got some great images for relatives to have today or for your kids to look at when they’re older, and for their kids and further generations to do the same in years to come. Share this blog post via WordPress, Facebook or Twitter and receive a 5% discount on family portraits – offer available until 31st April 2015. (Conditions apply. Please see my Terms and Conditions at www.sarahjanefield.co.uk.)