A MISSING PORTRAIT
We spend so much time saying ‘photograph the kids’ when we should be saying ‘photograph the family’ or ‘photograph the generations’. We often call this the photography of need vs the photography of want. We need to have photographs made of the kids to record their history in life, but there comes a point where we fail to include ourselves, both as individuals, and as couples.
With the death of my father in 2013, I became an ‘orphan’. I went searching for my mother and father in the family collections and found beautiful portraits of myself and my sister, but very few of us with our parents as younger vital people. Those photographs, together with more recent versions of myself with my parents, were the images I craved and the images I had least of.
We come up with all kinds of excuses as to why we shouldn’t appear in photographs. We don’t like our current appearance, our hairstyle – we ‘always come out looking funny’ – all manner of excuses. We’re very good at avoiding simply being in a photograph.
Why does someone want us to be in a photograph? Because they love us and they don’t want to forget us. Everyday people are forced to cling to a really bad photograph of a parent, taken years ago – because that is all they have.
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada.1/250; f/7.1; ISO 200; 50.0 mm.