2010, 5 years ago, was my last Mother’s Day. I expected it every year. Unfortunately it’s the sort of person I am. I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. It did in June that year. That said, my anxiety means I want every event to be great. I would always get a card with a badge on. I’d try to get balloons and carnations, my mums favourite. She deserved it all.
Today I was at a talk by Phil Toledano. You may remember him from such photography as Days with my father. The photography that reminded us all how precious family moments are. His work went viral a few months before Mothers Day 2010 and I owe him a debt of gratitude for doing the work he did. It reminded me to photograph the hard days, the little things, the naked truth.
It’s been 5 years and I’ve been looking back at those photos. My mum, in pain, worked hard to smile and you can see it. My dad laughed. The sun warmed the room and the newly acquired kitten was confused.
In Phil Toledano’s talk he spoke about his new work, When I was six. It’s about how he came to terms with the death of his 9 year old sister. The photography he produced was beautifully shot and he said he wanted to capture that homely light through the window. Looking back at my photos I can see that light, those memories. Home. Warmth. Sun. Family. It wasn’t, as far as I recall, something I conciously tried to capture but I can see it. Maybe that’s what time adds to the photography.