Portrait photography on film
It’s my favourite photo – the first shower with my newborn, fresh in the raw ooze that is postpartum. I asked Xave to show me the polaroid through the glass, and when I saw it I cried. Maybe it was the hormones (probably), but it was the most beautiful photo of myself I had ever seen.
As it is for so many of us, motherhood has been a defining metamorphosis for me. I was a photographer before becoming a Mum, but motherhood forced me to grow into the artist I needed and craved to become.
I bought my first 35mm film camera in 2018, deep in the trenches of an utterly unfulfilling teaching degree. In desperate need of a joyful distraction, and fanging for a new hyperfixation, I purchased the camera online under the assumption I would lose interest within a fortnight.
Instead, my love affair with photography began.
My favourite thing to photograph is kids. I love bringing my camera to family BBQ’s and snapping photos of my daughter and her cousins running, playing and having fun. I’m one of five kids myself, and childhood is a subject I’m continually brought back to.
Kids are not yet self-conscious in the way we adults are. If they’re guarded, it’s not because they’re worried about how they will look in the final image. There’s wisdom in innocence.
Perfect images of perfect families smiling cheesily into the lens make me feel absolutely nothing. In fact they’re a missed opportunity to document an eternally fleeting present.
I’m not suggesting we capture photos out of fear, desperately clinging to a moment once it’s gone. Photography is an acknowledgement that growth and change are a fact of nature, an inevitability. The best photos are a celebration of the season we find ourselves in, and they’re an honouring of our current reality.
The unsurpassable high of falling in love.
Bags of corn chips, drunken ciggies outside the pub.
The kitchen cluttered, a mess of shoes by the front door.
Childhood viewed from the other side of the looking glass.
It’s ours – to honour, to celebrate, to remember.