If there is one thing you learn from being a family photographer it is that there is always a lot more to people than you just see at face value. What I see through the lens at that very first shoot with you is not always what I see further down the line.
By the time I’ve photographed excited-you at your engagement session, stressed-out-you at your wedding, nervous-you stripped half naked for your maternity shoot, shattered/ecstatic/ amazed-you with your first born, and can’t-believe-where-it’s-gone-you at their first birthday cake smash then we usually know each other pretty well.
And by the time I’m photographing we’ve-been-here-before-you at your second and THIRD maternity sessions you’re usually walking round the studio in just a pair of knickers making your own tea and coffee whilst filling me in on the gossip.
And that is the BEST part of this job – getting to know you all so well. Because there is always SO much more than first appearances would lead you to believe.
Take Jules as an example:-
Last July Pete FINALLY decided to marry me. And a lot of my friends got to meet – for the first time – the lovely Jules (catalogued as “One Of Annie’s Weird Photography Friends From Up North Somewhere” and lovingly referred to by my other half as ‘The River Rat’)
And – O.M.G. – did she ever make an impression!
Jules is a Tog too. And, like most Tog’s at a wedding, was always up to something.
And credit for the images goes to Karen Massey Photography ……. because Karen had the dubious task of being MY wedding photographer. And the worst job in the world to have landed on you is being a Wedding Photographers Wedding Photographer (another blog post to follow, so watch this space!) And, because the world of professional togs is a small one – Jules and Karen know each other too…..and I did spot more than one of their ‘shoot outs’ in the final pics!!
When she wasn’t dancing round the tables and prancing up and down the Top Table (causing my new Father-in-Law to lean over and ask….”Who IS that??”) she was photographing them. And you. And everything else.
And when she wasn’t dancing, or prancing or photographing she was crying at the speeches (coz that’s what us “Mad Togs” do – we wear our hearts on our sleeves and you can get us to cry at the drop of a hat)
And when she wasn’t dancing, prancing, photographing or crying she was doing – completely unbeknown to me – an “Annies’ Wedding Facebook Live”!! ( Yes!!! Really!!! That is her – bottom right…..streaming live to the world, the rest of us totally oblivious!!!)
And afterwards she sent THIS (which now hangs on the wall) . And then the other Tog cried. And her new husband looked suspiciously at her and started to regret he didn’t wait a bit longer than 15 years before getting married:-
Dearest Anne and Pete,
Your Wedding Weekend was the most wonderful meeting of new friends and old.
I can not thank you enough for bringing such joy to me and so many others by sharing your day.
This Image to me sums it all up, capturing two people who have never met introducing themselves over the “Breaking of Bread” Wedding dinner.
Your friend Jules
And you all LOVED her. I cannot tell you how many times afterwards I was asked about “The lady in the black and white dress”. A question always followed by – “……the mad one” .
Because – truthfully – at face value, that is what you see. Bubbly. Eccentric. Outgoing. Life-and-Soul…….. and utterly mad.
Which is why you should NEVER judge a book by it’s cover. Because what you SEE is not always what you get.
You see – I am lucky enough to KNOW Jules. I know her as a fellow Tog. And whilst I totally AGREE that she will be one of the first to drop her trousers and show her Oddballs Pants with us all whilst training at Grahistudios in Italy: –
….her photography work shows a different side. It is thought provoking. And deep. A whilst some of us (#me) were nearly wetting themselves in excitement at finding they had one of their images IN the Master Photographers magazine a few months ago, Jules is the type of photographer who makes the front cover:-
But more poignantly – especially on this, National ODP Day 2020 and in a world battling Covid -19 – I want to show you something else. I want to show you again this amazing woman who you all SAW as bubbly, eccentric and totally mad…….
…….And ask how many of you are seeing something totally DIFFERENT now? :-
Because this is Jules now – cameras temporarily packed away – back on the Front Line in her role as an Operating Department Practitioner battling Covid-19 on behalf of every single one of us.
Amazing how just ONE photo can make such a difference in our perceptions of a person.
I cannot WAIT until I can give this lovely woman a big hug again! But in the meantime Jules …… from all of us who know you – GIVE IT HELL! xx
Amazing Illustration Credit – M J Hiblen Art