When my mum was my age (early thirties) and I was just a wee, little [cough, angelic....er who can I hear laughing?] girl my mum got into the hobby of photography.
She had a wicked camera that made the most fantastic shutter noise, a variety of lenses, filters that would change the colour of the photo which I thought was nothing short of magic (of course all done digitally nowadays) and all the kit to develop her own photos.
I even remember her joining a Photography Class and getting to go to Cambridge for the weekend (obviously I didn't know it at the time but giving her some very deserved and needed 'me time') and it must have been a fun weekend because she still talks about it now with fondness (they were taking pictures of the sun rising over a very beautiful Manor House, and got chased off the land whilst trying to pack up camera's and tripods and being chased down by the Game Keeper and his dogs!)
We spent many weekends out taking photographs of anything and everything, usually we would bike ride to a nearby location, and believe me where we lived it was nowhere exotic or exciting (see last weeks post A Beautiful Evening for more on that!) and click until the film ran out. Then we would ride back home and disappear into, what would have been the coal shed but was now the indoor drying room, which had no windows and a line to hang the photos to develop, so was ideal for a make shift dark room.
We had boxes and boxes of photographs. So I think it was no surprise that I always continued to love to take photos, only the point and click and hope for the best variety, but lots all the same. And of course none more so than when I became an aunty for the first time (some 15 years ago!) and then a mummy.
However, over the last few years I have taken less and less, I suppose always had my hands full with other things (quite literally, changing bags, buggies etc) and I think that is a real shame. Because whilst searching out young photos of J1 the other day for my 'Disability Diaries' post I came across the photos of my nephew of when he was J2's age, and I honestly say the only difference between those and J2's are the hair colour.
I was astounded because I have always been a little sad that I can't see any of me in J2, he is soooooooooooo like his dad (which of course isn't a bad thing but it is nice to glance at your child and think, ohhhh I can see part of me there) and that is what everyone says. But those photographs made me realise he must be like me too and that made me so happy. So I am very thankful that for many years I was close to being a photo-manic girl!
I think anyone that finds pleasure in photography are very lucky as I always end up smiling when I look back through all those old boxes of photos. That incident, combined with following wonderful 'photograph genius' blogs like Our Footprints on the World and Holding on to the Little Things have really made me want to get back into taking photographs (thanks girls, you are inspirational!).
I have a decent digital camera, I started off taking photos with vigour again when J2 came into the world, I just need to get the damn book out and read what it can really do! And maybe it's time to invest in a computer package that means I can mess around with the pictures once they are uploaded.
And hopefully I will be able to share bike rides to take photos with my own children one day, very soon.