'These two are really going to piss me off over the years. I just know it...'

Thanks for the memories, Dad

Aw, you’ve gotta love the tradition that’s the family portrait, haven’t you? I say that as a veteran subject of the genre: my dad was an avid amateur photographer who forced his three children to pose for an obscene number of pictures over the years.

See – here we are in our jim-jams looking sweet, circa 1971 I reckon.

Why fuss with individual haircuts when ONE bowl-inspired style will suit the whole family?

Can you see the faint look of tedium on my brothers’ faces? Ben and Roly are respectively five and seven years older than me and, frankly, the endless photo calls are starting to piss them off. Me, I’m at the stage where I’m still flattered by it.

Here we are again (there will have been several thousand taken in the meantime, you understand) a few years later. Ro has at least found something to look at in the sky, but Ben and I face the lens head on with resignation writ large across our faces.

Oh come on Dad, you daft old cock. Take the picture and let us go. Catweazle’s about to come on.

And, oh look, here we are once more, some years down the line. Roly’s well into adolescence, judging by the ennui he’s exuding and the petulant stance, whilst Ben and I have simply lost the will to care very much either way. I’m not sure of the year but I’m pretty certain the eighties are either looming or have loomed. Ro’s radar is about to tune into punk, whilst Ben is soon to discover girls. Few if any family portraits were taken after this point, I think. Still, thanks to my dad and his constantly clicking shutter, all these memories are forever committed to the tangible form of photographic paper, which I am now grateful for (even if I wasn’t then.)

OK, Dad, this is the last ever moment of innocence you’re catching on that camera of yours. Got that?

Anyhoo, all of which brings me round to the main point, which is that my brother Ben – mentally scarred as he was by his years IN FRONT of the camera – has made his career behind one. And among the stuff he does? Yep. Family portraits. Seems he doesn’t actually want this tradition to die out so he’s doing all he can to save it – including offering this cool promotion over on his website here. Please take a look if you’re interested in capturing an image of your family that you’d like to keep (on your wall, as opposed to in a file on your computer) forever.

Incidentally, on the home front, he now makes his own little boy, Mr E, suffer in the name of his art by taking endless adorable pictures of him. And with no guilt on his conscience, it seems. Plus ça change.

Mr E: Get used to the click of that shutter, kid.

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  1. Tricia smith

    I remember well!

  2. Dad was a talented photographer! It seems it has passed down the gene pool – great pic of Mr E. I love taking pics of my kids, the task is made easy with the 7 (nearly 8) year old as she is hugely photogenic (she doesn’t get that from me or her mum – go figure). The boy less so, like myself, which is down to shyness me thinks.

    Some great posts Hollie, love your sense of humour :)


    • Yeah, the old bugger (RIP) had a good eye for a nice snap. I know what you mean about photogenic children though – mine are beautiful and it’s a mystery to everyone! Thankin’ you for the comment Mr D, and everything else too of course. X

  3. My word you do look excited! Lovely pictures though, despite the torture you all went through. Thankfully, my Dad prefers pictures of butterflies and flowers to people, so all we had to endure what him running off in the undergrowth, and insisting we stand still while he photographed a Green Hairstreak – or something else important!

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