A Day In Oxford
I know I say it a lot, but there is something extra special about photographing a family as they grow, about documenting their journey from couple to threesome to a family of four. I photographed Marcie and Oli when they were expecting their first baby, I returned to photograph them when their son was a few weeks old and then again a mere 18 months later when their family grew to enfold their daughter. This progression and growth, change and adaptation, this story is what I live for as a photographer. It's no small thing to be given a glimpse into another family's story for a couple of hours but to bear witness to it over the course of years... that's where the magic is.
I spent all day with Marcie and Oli and their family, all three generations and two branches of it. I joined them in the morning as babies were being wrangled into rompers and teeths were being brushed and I put the cameras away again 10 hours later, as babies were being wrestled into rompers and teeths were being brushed.
A day in the life of a family is an amazing thing - an epic dance, a joyous party, a series of negotiations small and large. A circus, some might say. Moments of stupendous noise and glee - wooden trains clacking against raucous chuckles, the squawks of a baby who doesn't want to get dressed rubbing up against the disgruntled miaows of the cat at the door, the cacophony of several different conversations that happen when six adults and two children who are related to each other come together. And the moments of unexpected calm, of a toddler slurping milk from a glass while his sister snoozes in a milk drunk reverie and the adults, for a brief moment are all silent - fixing train sets, reading books, catching their breath, smiling devotedly upon their grandchildren, slurping and page turning and tidying punctuated by the click clack of a camera shutter trying to capture those precious moments before they disappear, before the toddler can dress himself and the baby can sit up unaided, gumming away on her brother's train set.
Yes, a day in the life of a family is an amazing thing, an act of love and faith and organisation and tolerance and laughter and endurance and did I mention love?