I interview a lot of mums and when the time comes for me to ask for a supplied photograph the answer is always the same: ‘Sorry I have loads of the kids but none of me.’
I’m just the same. You’ll usually find me behind the camera and subsequently our albums are overflowing with pics of the boys and Mr Bean. Well I say albums … that was about six years ago. Now my hard drive is bursting with images which one day, when I find the courage, I will have printed.
But I digress. In order to ensure there is some photographic evidence that our children have a mother we ask local photographer Sheila Higgins to take some snaps every year or so. We’re not really formal picture people and that’s why we love Sheila’s work. She’s not one of those in your face photographers (and yes I’ve worked with a few of those). She hangs back and somehow manages to capture the most natural of situations.
We met Sheila recently at Nobby Beach, our favourite Gold Coast beach, and asked my parents to come along too. Sheila’s just delivered the photographs (prints too!) so I thought I’d share a few of my favourites.
I love this first one because it captures all of us together and not in a stuffy, ‘we’re the perfect family’ pose. If you know any of us you’ll know that Sheila worked miracles to get this. James was overtired and grumpy and rarely does what he’s told. My dad hates photographs and the dog … well she’s as bad as James when it comes to following orders. My mum – ever the journo – was trying to offer photograph suggestions, clearly having NEVER learned the Number one rule of working with photographers DO NOT TELL THEM HOW TO DO THEIR JOB! I learned this lesson the hard way when I was a cadet journalist.
And here are our angels. They look so lovely and well-behaved don’t you think.
Don’t be fooled.
I’ve always loved that opening scene in Baywatch, the one where Pamela races down the beach. Here’s our version of that shot. I also like the fact that Mr Bean and I are at the very back of the shot, barely in focus … there comes a time in one’s life where this distant, foggy focus kind of picture works wonders. I know this because I did a university assignment on daytime soap. Vaseline on the lens is the next obvious stage of my photographic modelling career.
And finally there’s the dog shot. Any newspaper editor will tell you that animals sell newspapers. We’re all suckers for cute doggy shots. So here’s ours. This is Lola, my mum’s new baby! I’d also like to put on the record that my mother has definitely dropped her standards when it comes to that dog. When my boys used to misbehave and wee on the carpet there was hell to pay. But when the dog does it … not a problem!