We were cajoled into meeting up at the photographer’s stand to prop her up, six months old, on a box with her cousins. ‘Nan and Grandad will love it.’
We cooed and rattled things. She looked unimpressed. Shoppers squeezed passed. The boys grinned to order in front of the mottled blue. She did not. Flash.
Back home we snuggled on the sofa and gave her a newspaper. She loved newspapers. She smiled up from the business section, her face bathed in light from the French doors and Daddy grabbed his camera. Picture of the day.
That was when he decided to switch from pack shots and advertising to natural portraits – no more basement studios and humming electricals. There are since hundreds of families who are just as glad that James saw the light (literally) and started on this journey, finding the true beauty in the real world.
Our house was no film set, those French doors did not inspire Noel Cowardesque musings. They were a post-war thin metal framed pair of wobblies that needed a nudge to open onto a knobbly strip of patio but that day they provided a window to our future. A world where James has shared his natural portraits with hundreds of families.
Our little model is now in her twenties, prefers a phone screen to a newspaper and probably doesn’t try to eat it.