After my last instagram tips post, I looked back at my wider photo archives, and found a few sets I wanted to revisit somehow. So this is the first of a little series, I think.
F was about 3 when these photographs were taken; I was staying with her parents, illustrators & authors Helen & Gerry, and had taken F out for a walk in the spring sunshine.
Photographs can be a hook to hang our memories on; because of these shots, this day has stayed clear in my mind – the ice cream cones we ate at the seafront, F’s tears and panic as hers began to melt. Melting was a big concern for her for that whole summer – an unstoppable force that made sweet things fade away. Life has a lot of big lessons for a pre-schooler.
She was still tearful as we walked home; that slow, treacle walk of a reluctant toddler, a kite against the wind. On a warm and quiet street, we spotted this tree, and her mood instantly lifted.
We filled buckets with blossoms and threw it around like confetti. We laughed and screamed and shook the branches of the tree, making blizzards of pink against the buildings and sky.
I was a bit afraid that someone would scold us for shaking the tree – vandals of springtime, a pair of blossom hoodlooms, but nobody came.
I took pictures, and when it was time to leave, F filled her beach bucket to the brim with fallen petals to take home.
It’s nearly F’s seventh birthday now; three or four springs have passed since these photos were taken. Now I have my own little toddler, following that big girl around with wide eyes & awe.
Yesterday, visiting again, we went back to the tree. I wanted to photograph Orla in the same spring sunshine, and give this post a point or conclusion or something.
But I’d forgotten that spring moves slowly North – the trees are just blossoming at home, and up here they are still tightly closed.
This is often the way with the best photographs. Equipment, technique and skill get you so far, but sometimes you just need a bit of really good luck.
In Northumberland, the sky is a different blue. It's icier somehow, fresher than our Yorkshire cerulean, and on rainy days it is the cold, bright grey of steel. The hills are amber and green, the [...]