Photographic Memories | Introducing Michael Blyth, Photographer
Do you have a photographic memory? It’s a thought at the back of many parents’ minds, echoed by the song ‘Turn Around’, first sung many years ago by Harry Belafonte.
It goes like this: “Turn around and you’re two, Turn around and you’re four, Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of the door.” Familiar? Perhaps not the song, but the thought? Children grow inexorably, physically and mentally.
How many times have you suddenly noticed how much they’ve changed? Each change is precious; crawling, toddler, and beyond, moving from child to teenager. Teenage is studded with markers not to be ignored (not all of life is a grunt). That journey to adulthood can be tumultuous indeed, but interspersed with memories worth recording. All my girls are now in their twenties, and those changes keep still keep happening. It’s the failure to invest into memories that is so regrettable; facets of growing-up not recorded, no family or individual photos, always the one behind the camera missing from the picture. And, believe it or not, they will want images of you, wrinkly or not – you’re still mum or dad. I’ve yet to meet a family who have regretted spending out on family photos. They may seem expensive at the time, but if they’ve “captured” the person, they become like solid gold.
To my totally biased mind there is only one option when it comes to style for photographic memories. Family pictures, on the wall or in an album, need to be relaxed and natural, portraying character and emotion, capturing the soul. Family on a walk, the beach, out on their boat, around the house and garden, I’ve even done family holidays away from home – because sometimes it takes until week two for work-stressed parents to fully wind down. Wherever you relax, I can go.
In a recent photoshoot I’ve done for a family, the largest picture – and it’s big – is of the husband and wife walking together, but where are the children? They’re strung out in front as they race up the hill; as natural as it gets, taken from the back. It’s not art, but it’s life memorised. The way I work at a photoshoot aims to offer a multitude of images. This same client also has big, emotive images of each individual family member, and groups, all in bespoke frames; fabulous memories of a fabulous day.
In the family of another client, one of the sons – in his late teens – was not one iota interested in complying with parental wishes, and certainly not interested in changing into “approved” clothing. Nonetheless, we had a great photo session. We left the “rents” and went out to where his life was focussed – a couple of old tractors and an equally old Land Rover. We had a great fun and got some great pics.
Some of you reading this article may be somewhere in the process of moving house, thinking family photos will have to wait, but this is actually a really special time to record, that turning point, a new chapter. To see more of my work and for further information, please visit michaelblyth.co.uk or email [email protected]