I strongly believe that portrait photography is not just for the big three occasions (birth, marriage, (no, not death) and parenthood). It should be used as a document to record a stage in your life; to remember yourself. I have no idea what I looked like at 24 because I avoided all cameras. In fact, I only have the sneaked pictures of friends to howl at my fashion mistakes (ongoing). I realised one day (about five years ago) that this was daft – I was looking through the photo albums of my girl’s first years on the planet and saw that you would never know I was part of the family. I was either behind the camera or hiding. It occurred to me that I needed to get over that because one day my daughters would want to see me there – them and I together, growing up, living our lives. So I bought a DSLR, took up learning about photography, and undertook a 365 project (a self-portrait every day for a year). It hasn’t made me celebrate my giant bum anymore, but it has made me care less about it, and see the photo for what it is – a moment in time I will never be able to get back.
This is a very round about way of saying that, in the spirit of this, I spent an afternoon with Craig & Bethany doing just that. Rather than head to the New Forest nearby, we decided to embrace the grime & glamour of inner Southampton. Southampton used to be a city full of beautiful Georgian buildings, but the blitz all but destroyed much of the city. The subsequent developers and planners haven’t always been kind to Southampton (in a few instances they seemed to have a personal grudge against the city’s populous!) but I wanted to use that perceived ugliness; and with the help of this attractive, loved-up couple, find some beauty within it. I hope you think it worked!