Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Photographs, images and emotions

We spent a lovely day in Oxfordshire on Monday. 

The children were involved in a photo shoot for Relax Kids

They had a wonderful time playing and posing for photographs. I was amazed at how good they were at expressing and representing different emotions - both negative and positive. 

We all had a giggle at some of the moody and angry faces being shown, and 'ahhhh-ed' at the relaxed and calm poses they came up with. 

They had a busy day, thinking about different emotions and how we show our feelings to others. 

The following day my eldest (12) felt inspired to 'listen to the Relax Kids CD's more often again as I've got out of the good habit' - What better recommendation?

I had a scary moment when it was suggested that we did a couple of family photos - I feel very uncomfortable having my photograph taken and number 70 in my Dreams and Wishes list is to take steps to resolve this. 

So we took the photos and I trembled, and smiled, clutching the children in a cuddle. Then breathed a sigh of relief at the end. 

When the photo was shown to me later that evening I smiled a lot - it's gorgeous! Me and my beautiful children - what a lovely image to have forever.

Memories are so precious, we keep them as safe as we can in our mind but these physical images are a beautiful reminder to us of the people and the places where these memories were made. 

I'm not sure exactly why I have such an uncomfortable feeling when a camera is pointed towards me. It doesn't have a 'starting point' or event which caused it. I clearly remember running and hiding from cameras even as a very young child, feeling upset if there was an insistence that I stood and 'said cheese'. As I grew older and my teeth began to protude my reticence only increased.

My grandmother - Nannie - showered me with positive affirmations that I was beautiful and that I looked wonderful, which I did partly believe, but it didn't make the thought of someone capturing my image forever any easier. 

The funny thing was that I wonder if it was my Nannie who influenced me with my fear of being photographed. She was forever saying 'aach Jack......take that camera away...' , 'take that thing away from me.....'  , 'oh don't!....' My granda loved using his camera and took lots of cine film and photographs. When we were young lots of the films and photographs taken showed my Nannie ducking away, but funnily enough, trying to drag me back in to the scene. I recall several pictures of her just holding me still as I squirm in her arms - I also remember the day they were taken and feeling grateful for her love holding me still in her arms. 

When we visited my grandparents house my sisters and I would spend hours looking at all the old photo albums, loving seeing our grandparents, and great grandparents when they were young and familiar strangers to us. My Nannie as a beautiful young woman smiled and looked directly at us out of the photographs, my Granda was so handsome and looked so strong. They were a young couple so in love. It was lovely to see this. It made me feel safe and secure. 

My grandparents were a huge influence in my life. They were very much a couple in love, very demonstrative and loving towards each other and everyone around them. 

Yesterday my children, mum, step-dad and I visited my Granda before going together to put some flowers on my Nannie's grave for her 7th anniversary. 

My granda has many photographs on his walls of the whole family. The children are naturally drawn to them. They show weddings, graduations, new babies, family celebrations. Smiling faces at happy occasions. I called the children in to my grandas bedroom though to show them a particularly special one that he has on his wall. It shows the beautiful full face of my smiley Nannie as a young woman. The childrens faces lit up. Wow! She's so beautiful! She looks like a film star!

I resolve to get over my fear of being photographed. For myself, my children, my parents, my grandparents, and my own future grandchildren.  I am beautiful and will allow myself to be shown the way I am. 

Many thanks to Marneta and Stuart for the lovely photograph of the children and I.

For the children I will fulfill number 57 and put our family photographs in to memory books.

And for my Nannie, I will take a photograph of myself daily.

I resolve to accept my image, feel comfortable within it, and be proud to share it. 


  1. The photo was so beautiful - you must put it up for all to see! So pleased you have ticked off another thing on your list. I love your list - think I will do the same.

  2. Thanks Marneta. I've proudly put it as my Facebook profile.

    I hope you do start a list. It's really eye opening and fun.

  3. haha I still go straight to the photos at Grandas, the power of an image eh? Emsx

  4. Posing tips....hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :o)
    As the years pass, it grows even more so.....I've always had family far away; we meet rarely now, moreso when I was little and BA granted me free flights. I was gifted with the opportunity to train in London...we gathered from all over, became friends....and then made our own way in the world. I miss everyone so much my heart hurts sometimes and wish that they were just across the hall / the field ....ready for a chat, a hug ...and a photo. Your Nannie had the biggest smile and hug, for everyone, to match - something I missed, coming from a very Irish, very tactile mental image is very different from what might have come across in that captured on film.
    I often stop, when things are perfect, and try to capture the image in my mind....knowing that only the very few memories will remain as time goes on, but knowing that the feeling of the event will never pass.
    Things happen to take away those that we love....sometimes for a little while, sometimes for a few years - ;o) - sometimes until we meet again in heaven.....So, until we do meet again, I smile and laugh....because I'm happy that this moment is here, because I love what I'm doing and who I'm with, because it might all change tomorrow and my heart will break that little bit more, so that I can go to the photos, touch the faces and have a chat.
    So, Giraffe don't need to do anything really....I have the most amazing photos of you smiling, frowning and looking at me like I've completely lost my marbles(again!)....all of which make me giggle, sigh, cry - whatever the emotion was at the time....and that's just, like words, are about capturing the spirit of the event, they're memory joggers, little bookmarks. Do nothing but be you, at the time, as you are - gorgeous x

  5. :o) "You too" ;o), huge amounts xx