I shot a wedding in Eastbourne recently, a place I’d not been to before but knew Nana was fond of as there are plenty of photos of her there, including the one above, so I thought I’d try and find where she’d stood. Having the photo and trying to retrace where she’d once walked made me feel somewhat close to her once again.
I’d been extremely close to her my whole life, I loved her so much, and losing her over Christmas in 2013 really flipped my World around. One thing I can take from it though, is how significant photography can be, and what an important part it can play in our lives during the hard times. It can be such a gift. I really miss our phone calls since I had to move away from Liverpool, and how she’d add ‘that’s the main thing’ on to the end of most questions, ‘Are you and Alan ok?…that’s the main thing’ or ‘Are you keeping warm?…that’s the main thing’. And how every time I’d visit she’d ask ‘Have y’got any more photos to show me?’.
Looking through all the old photographs of her, not only enabled me to see her as she once was, Rene Tudor a beautiful young lady with a big smile and a dimple in each cheek, it also let me revisit my own memories of her amongst the dozens of photographs I’ve had taken with her during my life, the lovely little Nana she became. There are times when I feel lost without my Nana, but I know I’d feel so much more lost if I didn’t have my photographs of her and of us together. They’re absolutely priceless to me, like little treasures.
I feel like her passing has had an affect on what I do and why I do it, and to some extent just affirmed what I feel is importance in photography, and my way of working. Capturing family bonds, relationships, and the affection shown to one another at weddings has become an important part of my job at weddings. That’s why I much much much prefer natural, candid style photographs to the posed group set up shots. A natural shot of the father of the bride when he first sees his daughter in her dress, friends sharing a hug the morning of the wedding, or a bride walking along linking her Grandmothers arm to support her says so much more than a stiff formal shot every could. I want to capture moments that my couples can look back on in years to come with great fondness and emotion, remembering their loved ones and how much they mean to them and smiling. Because that is the main thing.