Meaningful Photographs with Personal Stories

This is my daughter and husband. It’s a terribly composed photo and I’m not even sure it’s properly focused. It’s grainy and shot at 10,000 iso in a dark room of a rental we stayed in temporarily. But I still love this image. When I look at it I can hear my two favourite people in the world cracking each other up and giggling. This is a very “normal” scene in our house. These two, usually on the sofa, in hysterics over nothing in particular. They have a fun and playful relationship and this photo sums it up to me. This photo is printed in our living room wall gallery.

This is Nick and Hazel again in another rental we were in while looking for a house to buy. It had a big yoga studio as part of the downstairs and we used this space to play in most days as there weren’t many toddler hazards in it. Since we had ample yoga mats at our disposal we tried to teach Hazel a bit about relaxing and calming down, something NOT in her DNA at all. This was a rare moment of sitting and focusing. She was really making an effort to learn what we were telling her and to mimic Nick. The whole series of these photos is pretty funny to me. (It had no long term calming effects, unfortunately. And we need to try it again. Ha!). This photo is printed in our living room as the centrepiece.

This is a really hard photo for me. But I love it and I have it printed and up above my desk. This is Hazel last year when she was hospitalised for pneumonia in both lungs. We had just been admitted into the hospital after several trips to the emergency room and lots of tests. After thinking she just had conjunctivitis to being sent up to the children’s ward was a terrifying day full of helplessness and stress. We both had the worst case scenario running through our head and a lot of unknown ahead of us. I documented this time for us because I knew it would mean something in the future even though it was hard to be there amongst so much uncertainty. Today in my life I have times (daily) of frustration at things my toddler is doing or getting into or pushing boundaries on. But this photo always brings me to a place of deep appreciation for what I do have which is a very healthy and busy toddler.

I love this photo because it sums up our summer and the season of our life where we spent SO MUCH TIME transporting a little pink potty around with us. We brought this thing to the beach, to the woods for walks, to the grocery store, on family holiday. Basically anytime we left the house, the pink potty was in hand. I knew I wanted to make a photo of the potty when we started to enter this stage of toddlering because it’s such a funny panicky phase in parenting (or it was for us anyway). I just didn’t know what the picture would look like. This was after our summer family holiday with my in laws while we were driving home. Hazel said she had to peepee so we screeched to a halt on the side of the road and got her ready to potty. I jumped out of the car and was like, YES, this is my potty shot. It’s not perfect, but it cracks me up. BUT the best part of it is she didn’t have to pee at all. She just sat there playing with the door. She KNEW that if she said she had to pee we’d get her out of her carseat (which she hates) stat and she’d be (sort of) free for a few minutes. This is one of those photos that I just see her cheeky little personality when I look at it.

This is another photo that shows Hazel’s cheeky personality to me. It was summer and we’d been in the kitchen doing something. I walked out and was in the dining room where my desk is when I realised that I hadn’t heard her make any noise for a minute. I went into the kitchen and she’d pushed her chair to the sink, climbed in and was filling the entire sink with dish soap and “washing” the counter. I feel like this photo sums up my life right now where I’m constantly in a limbo between saying “don’t do that!” to her and scrambling to grab my camera without her noticing. I also love that her lovey, Ben, is in this photo on the counter. He isn’t visible in any of the other photos, but I can guarantee he isn’t more than a couple of feet from her in any of them. A different version of this photo is also printed in my living room.