My mum the photographer
It’s a year to the day since my Mum died at the age of 86. Her passing has prompted a lot of tumultuous change, and no day has gone by without connecting to her memory. I brought home a small plastic box, packed with little black and white snapshots. I sifted through them, finding photographs of familiar family faces from a long gone era.
It didn’t take me long to realise that many of these images were Mum’s work. During the 1950s she took portraits of the important people in her life, including family and even boyfriends who preceded my late Dad. She was also happy to have the camera turned on herself in an era long before the selfie.
So why should it have come as a surprise? During my childhood it was Dad who purchased numerous cameras and took all the holiday photos. Mum was befuddled by complicated machines and consequently dismissed as unable to take a shot.
This little box of pictures reveals that it was Mum who may have possessed the natural flair to use a camera – the simple Box Brownie she mentioned on rare occasions. Dad, an engineer by training with a practical brain, loved the complex workings of cameras and would spend hours studying instruction manuals and fiddling with their controls.
Mum left behind thousands of photographs, but this small collection are the only ones which suggest she enjoyed using her own camera on a regular basis. Perhaps life changed after she married in 1957 and there was no longer space for photography. I regret that I didn’t unearth these photos and talk to her about them while she was still here.
As everyone knows, photographs hold cherished memories and in this case, unexpected insights into the long life of a loved one. I’m not at home for the anniversary, but putting this together will help me to remember a very important person.