a life in pictures

Sometimes when I'm uploading photos from my camera I come across images that I don't remember taking. Then I realise that Joel has been photographing. Santa bought him a little camera last year but it's usually mine that he picks up, and he's pretty adept at using it now.

I love to see the world through his eyes. The sheer difference in height changes the way he sees things, and it makes me see what he values. The favourite shoes; the surprisingly lovely light of a bath-toy; John's gardening gloves drying; an outgrown tricycle. Our quiet lunches and shared painting times. Me and John - usually unflattering but always loving. When I laugh at how I look in them he says indignantly 'no, you look lovely!' (have you noticed that I haven't included any of those? yes, I am that vain).

Not many days go by when I don't photograph. Because a lot of my life is spent around the house, that's reflected in my pictures. Joel has a strong sense of what my eye gravitates to - 'Look mummy! look at that shadow! quick!' - so I find it fascinating to see what catches his eye. I like his aesthetic: the angles and exposures may not be perfect but they're surprisingly composed and take account of the fall of light, and of colour.

Sometimes Joel moans as I rush off to get my camera, 'you don't always have to take photos of everything!' and mugs the shots after I make him do that thing again (and maybe again because I haven't quite caught the expression) like he's on a photo-shoot. But I tell him that one day, when he's older, he'll be happy to look back on so many photos of himself and his home. And among them will be his own photos of home and of family. Will the memories be more precious for that?


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