Love that jumper...

Image by Shelia Doyle 1977.

How often we have heard the question; "If your house was on fire and you could only take one thing what would it be?" Followed by the reply; "My family photographs, of course". Although these days it would probably a lab top with all the images on it rather than a tatty old album.
But rather than harp on about the longevity of prints and the soon to be forgotten paper albums tucked away in the drawer of bits and bobs, I wanted to mention the one thing that has made photography so popular right from the beginning, the family portrait. Simply put, the recording of loved ones and proof that they exist has always been in our genes, so what indeed could be more precious than photographs of your own family taken on days which always seemed to be sunny and trouble free.

I often flick through the old family album as its usually kept beside the bed in the spare room of my parents house. My mother, the designated photographer, always carried the Kodak 110 with the cover which also acted as a handle. The image above was made during a holiday at Butlins Bognor Regis way back in 77 (I think). My full head of hair and coordinated jumper and socks makes me realise how stylish I was even back then.
It is safe to say that I don't think for a moment that my mothers artistic endeavours influenced me in any way whatsoever. Had this been the case, perhaps we would have millions more people wishing to become photographers all of them influenced early on by there parents snap shots, and what a flaming night mare that would be. But I am however sometimes fairly impressed with my mothers efforts at recording the families history considering she knows squat about photography.

Who would of thought the likes of William Eggleston (top right image) would go out of their way to plagiarise my mothers talents! If only she had gotten a Dye Transfer print made and not hidden it away in an album.... However, what this does show is that even a 'snap shot' can be a work of art.

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