Next year will be my eight year on Flickr and what a marvellous photographic journey it has been. When I go back and look at the photos I posted in 2007 and look at those of this year, I see how I have evolved. One of the things I have liked to do over the years to select 12 of my favourite shots – one from each month, at the end of the year. Traditionally, I would post a collage of these together on 31st of December and write a little about each photo. Seeing as I have a blog now, I have decided to write a little more about the twelve I select to represent this year’s photographic journey. When I say twelve, I really mean 24, because I will do the same thing for my iPhone account.
Looking through the photos for January, the one that jumps off the page to me is the photo of James, my son playing in the sunlight and shadows in our living room. With my job, I am lucky in that some of my work can be done from home. This also means that I get to spend a lot of time with my two kids. Time that seems to pass so quickly. I try to make myself realise the fleeting and precious moments I get to spend with them as little children; not always with success when they are driving me crazy when I am trying to word an email (or a flickr comment).
They say having a boy and girl is a gentleman’s family. They say that boys will break your house and girls will break your home. Whatever they say may be true, but the thing I do know is that a little boy is so different to a little girl. My little fella is full of life. I spend most of my time telling him not to touch this, to put that down, to do this, to not to do that, to stop, to stop, to stop… and then his face will light up with a look that is married to mischief.
And then, there are the times he will come when I am sat in front of my computer, push my swivel desk chair around and climb up onto and into me and lie in my arms, make eye contact with me and the world stops. Stops until he starts pulling the hairs on my chin or he reaches out to bang on the keyboard and that instant, when he is still in my arms, when we are together in a silence is gone.
Then with a wriggle and a jump he is off to immerse himself fully in the next thing that will get his enthralled attention for the next few moments. But we are still together.
One of the things to get his attention on a cold January morning was the stripes of shadows that fell on our living room wall as the sun shone in. He danced among them unnoticed for a while until I realised that it made for a fine photograph. Predictably, as soon as the camera came out, the camera got his attention and he walked away from the wall and shadows to come to inspect the device I was pointing at him.
– Go back over to wall, James. Do what you were just doing again. Go on, good boy.
– Daddy’s camera.
– Yes, daddy’s camera. Go on, go back. Look, look at the shadows. Can you make shadows for daddy?/
And he did. So often with kids they delight you and you want to capture this delight on camera, but once the camera comes out the moment is gone. And they are right. They are instinctive, given to whims and impulses. They rarely recreate a scene, a look or a mood for you. But this morning he did and I managed to get the shot of my little boy being a little boy.
Time will come and he won’t be enthralled by sunlight and his shadow or have his father asking him to ‘go back and do what you were just doing…”, but I hope this photograph will enthral him and bring him back to the wonder he felt that morning.