If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have heard me talk recently about the heart behind why I became a photographer.
Well, I thought I would elaborate slightly.
I think when you are trusting someone with your own baby photos, it’s nice to know a little about that person, and why they would be good to capture your memories.
So here is the heart behind what I do..
The short answer is, to capture authentic moments of things you don’t want to forget.
The long answer stems from dementia.
If you Google dementia, this is the first sentence that comes up. “Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is severe enough to affect daily functioning.” (Thanks Wikipedia)
If you have been close to someone who has dealt with dementia, you’ll know it as watching a person you love, forget their own children.
Over 20 years ago, I sat around with my Family on my Great Grandma’s Birthday. As we shared gifts with her, instead of the usual words of thanks, we were met with a smile you would give to a stranger. Because we were strangers to her. As we went round the circle, the gift would be presented along with the words ‘And this one is from Isobel, she’s your daughter and is sitting over in the corner”.
Her Daughter, my Grandma, waved back, having to introduce herself to her own Mother.
I cannot even begin to imagine how heartbreaking that is. In fact, I can’t even think about how I would feel if that was my Mum, because it’s not a reality I want to face.
During recent times, we watched my beloved Grandma go through the same things.
Stories she once repeated many times to me, because they were fond memories of times we spent together, she began to forget.
When we knew things were likely coming to an end, myself, my Husband and our (then) 11 month old flew back to the UK to see her.
I remember ‘testing the waters’, and asking her a few things. I’m not sure if I was hoping she would remember or if I actually really believed she would.
One question I asked her was ‘That ring you have on your finger, do you remember who gave it to you?’
‘That was from your Husband, my Grandad. You don’t remember him?’
It was like a giant slap in the face.
She didn’t remember him.
So what does this have to do with why I became a photographer?
My Grandma loved to take photos. She always had a camera in her bag wherever she went. Everyone would always say ‘Oh Isobel has her camera out again’ and roll their eyes as they tried to avoid getting in the picture. But I loved it. (And have since followed suit! – You could always count on me to have my camera in my bag on a night out or a day trip or family occasion!)
She wanted to preserve every single memory she made with people she loved.
If I’m honest, I’m terrified of ever forgetting my children, or my own Mum forgetting me. So I capture every little detail of our lives. It’s like little love letters to my children. Stories of the times we shared together, the details I love about them and our lives. The way they look at me. The way I look at them. So if there ever comes a time when I don’t remember, the photographs I take will.
So you’re probably still wondering how this relates to why I take photos of other people! 😉
The last photos I have of the four generations together are so precious. I set my Husband up in the corner of my Grandmas nursing home with my camera and told him to just keep taking photos! He had a full battery and an empty memory card (and not really much idea of what he was doing haha!) and off he went. I wanted photos of every last moment we spent together.
And this is one of my favourites…
Looking through photos together and the first time she met my daughter, who is named after her 🙂 We aren’t looking at the camera, we aren’t being forced to smile, we are just enjoying time together.
So this is where you come in!
I got this real urge to want to offer people that same experience. Like a fly on the wall of their own life.
You will hear lots of people talk about ‘style’ in photography. There is posed and lifestyle, outdoor and studio, dark and moody and light and airy. So many styles! My style of photography is dictated by moments like this one of me, me Grandma and my Daughter. Authentic, Natural and in the moment.
Yes, I make sure you are in the perfect light, and yes the smiling at the camera photos are nice. But no amount of posing or smiling at the camera is going to capture how much you love your children.
I chose my home studio because I want to capture authentic, natural images, in a controlled environment.
Where you don’t have to rush around tidying up before hand (leave that to me!), you don’t have to wait until sunset when your baby is definitely going to be at their least happiest, we won’t get rained off, no-one will be watching you and making you feel self conscious. You can just come, love and snuggle your baby and have beautiful pictures to show for it!
And that is why I became a photographer. I want everyone to have those little love letters to their children. x