This photo is part of a series taken by Shaun (pronounced Shan), a friend of ours, in the week after Grace was born. Shaun and Gerard go way, way back and both played in legendary Hobart band, The Reserves (but not at the same time). I don't think that I would be speaking out of turn if I said that I have been a little harsh towards Shaun on occasion. One particular bar-b-que, where large amounts of alcohol were consumed by almost everyone but me, comes to mind. Anyway, the fact that things were awkward between us for some time makes these photos all the more special.
Shaun arrived with his camera one unseasonably hot afternoon as we were lazing about with Grace, eating, cuddling, talking. You know, that really special time with a newborn, before the sleep deprivation really starts to take it's toll and everything has this rosy glow. And you think that you are just so clever and she is just so beautiful and little and precious (which I still think). At least that's how it was for us. Anyway Shaun more or less just stayed in the background for a few hours and snapped away. A couple of weeks later he dropped by with a big pile of mostly black and white photos, and the negatives.
It was such a lovely, thoughtful thing to do. And as time goes on I am more and more grateful, because apart from a few messy hospital shots and one of me breastfeeding Grace in the bath (none of which are suitable for the public gaze), there are very few photos of me with Grace in those first few months. There are loads of photos of just Grace, loads of Grace and G, loads of Grace and her other relatives. But not with me. For such a long time I have been really camera shy and have much preferred to take photos at family gatherings, rather than be in them. This has a lot to do with my fat issues and my longheld belief that I don't photograph well. However I have come to the conclusion, especially after becoming a mother, that I don't want to be invisible in my own history. And I want Grace to be able to look back and see pictures of us together. In twenty or fifty years no-one will care whether or not the pictures are flattering because, for the most part, that's not why we take them. So as a bit of a dare to myself, I joined Self Portrait Challenge and at first it seemed quite a scary thing to do. But in less time than I could have imagined, not only am I learning alot about taking photos, but I am starting to feel more comfortable in front of the camera and with images of myself in general.
This month's theme has been "with someone" and I have found it compelling. A few posts were so sad and moving, that I cried. Others have made me think. Many have been full of joy and laughter. What a rich and complicated world we live in... Visit all the other SPCers and their special people here.