In my experience of family shoots you will often meet one or more of the group who does not like having their photograph taken. Even if someone doesn’t say outright you can tell the signs almost instantly. Or maybe I can because I'm one of them too. If you looked on my phone you wouldn't see any selfies or an extensive choice of profile pictures for social media. As a kid, I couldn't wait for the packet of photos to be returned from the developers to see myself in a photo. If it didn’t have me in it, I wasn’t interested. Those youthful care free times however, were soon replaced by teenage insecurity and self consciousness. My early twenties concern about whether I looked 'fit' enough was then dwarfed by the realisation that my once thick mane of hair was now rapidly thinning. Consequently, countless images of significant times of my life have been either ripped up, deleted and never to be seen again. Each of these events was met with the recurring thoughts of ' next time I'll look better and then I'll have lots of photos taken'. Occasionally I was happier to have my photo taken, but more often than not the imagined ideal ' next time’ never arrived. Of the images that somehow made the cull, I now look back and think, OK, I'm not model material, but, hey, I wasn’t that bad.
I'm a parent now, and parental stuff and extensive sitting on my backside working and studying for a degree have taken their toll. Of course, now more than ever I’m the one to be taking the shots rather than appearing in them. I realise, however, things have got to change. It's not just a matter of next time it’ll be different anymore; I will simply never get another chance to be in the photos with my boys whilst they are this age. And, truth be told, I don't have enough of me with them as babies and toddlers to carry on waiting for tomorrow.
So, if you recognise yourself in my tale, let’s not wait for next time. Take your selfies, be in the picture, and have something to look back on.
Till next time...