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.
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.
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.)
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.