I’m slowly starting to get together a little collection of old family photos, and can spend hours at a time just flipping through them. There’s one in particular that I keep getting drawn back to, and it never fails to make me smile.
There’s just so much going on, and so much to love:
- The crying, squirming baby.
- The crying, squirming baby’s mother looking a bit frazzled.
- The ‘missing’ heads of father and child.
- The two women chatting and sharing a joke.
- The people taking it very seriously – some more than others.
Today we have our digital ‘do-overs’; we click, we check, and we keep at it until the perfect shot is captured. But this one – from my great grandmother’s photo album – was (quite possibly) their ‘one chance’ for a group shot that day.
Sure, it didn’t go to plan, but it’s officially my new favourite.
I also can’t help but invent stories wonder about the follow-up after the photo was developed:
- Ada (mum with crying baby) protesting that she wasn’t about to say ‘the F word’.
- Errol (back right) lamenting his height, hoping that one day, somewhere, a photo of his head exists.
- The photographer (unknown) is teased about his ‘skills’ at every family get-together thereafter…and made to sit at the kids’ table each Christmas.
They may well be other versions of the photo out there – where everyone’s included, smiling, and looking straight at the camera.
Perhaps this wasn’t their ‘one chance’…
…but I like to think that this version made it to the family album because my great grandmother loved it as much as I do.
The perfect family photo.