Sunday, May 10, 2015

Quarter Quell - Day 3

From Catherine:

Happy Mother's Day.

For Mother's Day, I wanted to send you a family photo. So today my post is about just that--Family Photos

Recollections of a Family Photo as a Child

I remember as a older child and young adolescent, two occasions when my mother tried to get our family of 10 ready for a family photo. I could feel the excitement. I remember my mother trying to get everyone washed, bathed, or through the shower, so we would be presentable, Then there was the encouragement it took to get a crew of adolescents and young children clothed, primped, and if possible coordinated so as not to clash in the final photo. The house was a tornado of activity. My mother's final task at home was to get the 10 of us into the car before something happened to our Sunday best. All trapped in the car, we were transported to the studio for the family photo shoot.

If getting us there wasn't enough of a challenge, there was still the main event. The inevitable chaos of trying to get 8 energetic and now completely uncomfortable kids to listen to a total stranger, arrange them in a pose that felt somewhat unnatural at best. If all went well, she would get the prize--that one photo out of the dozen's taken, that captured everyone with broad grins and open eyes. I love this family photo which is attached and the moment from my past that it recreates. Not only does it make me smile when I see us in our late 70s or early 80s best, it also reminds me of the absolute or total chaos it must have been to arrange this. My mother was a saint to try. This was ultimately the best the photographer could get out of our motley crew.

Recollections of a Family photo as a Young Adult

The days of trying to coordinate clothes and paying a professional photographer are over. I think we're all just amazed that we are in fact in the same room at the same time.

An unusual opportunity to capture all of us on film together. Less formal. More in the moment. Life is more complicated now for each of us. The chaos of life is still present in the background, but it is no longer the struggle for the photo that is our greatest burden.

The photo is a chance to leave the chaos and burdens of our lives for a brief moment and to be together in the present. No worries about clashing colours or formal photo arrangements. Just a nice memory of wanting to be together and a reminder to keep our eyes open and smile in the present.

Recollections of a Family Photo as a Mother

Now it is my turn to organize the family photo shoot.

Coordinating outfits, perfect background and the right window of opportunity.

It's mother's day.

Who could refuse to participate in a mother's only request for the day?

I've learned from my mother to seize the moment.

We're all dressed up for church so carpe diem and here's my chance.

I find a perfect backdrop and a friend who can focus my iphone in the right direction.

The perfect moment, yet there are still so many things that I can't control.

The sun is too bright.

Friends are passing by our photo shoot and want to visit.

Eyes closed, finger in nose, wiggles and laughter.

It's simply impossible to get all eyes looking in the same direction.

A moment of realization--what I want is impossible.

The perfect pose.

The right backdrop.

The gleaming smiles and perfectly arranged life is unnatural.

There is no way to hold all the variables in perfect alignment.

Another moment of reflection. 

Why bother?

This is life, pure and simple.

 Let's capture it as it is. Real life is somehow more interesting. And the memories captured on film in the moment are actually the things I really want. Those memories stay with us forever.

Here is to more family photos.

Happy mother's day. 72 more photos to follow.

Love Catherine

1 comment:

  1. Catherine - I loved studying these family photos you put together. The unifying factor for me is you. There you are with silky long blonde hair and a vest, then older and hair pulled back into a sensible ponytail and no trace of blonde, and then a fashionable bob with beautiful white streaks, ideal style for the busy mother of four, community activist, and medical doctor.

    To get a group of bodies in the same space, let alone still and looking in the same direction ... truly a monumental task.