artwork for photographs in a shoebox podcast episode 4

Ep. 004: Bring your story to life

Aug 11, 2021 | PODCAST

Bring your Story To Life

Bring your story to life for your children to have a solid sense of their past, so they will be able to snuggle up with their children and laugh at the terrible hairstyle and clothing choices back in 2021. 

You know that’ll happen! 

Include the every day, so you can look back and smile 10, 20, 30 years down the line at family picnics, birthday parties, and the first day back at school photos too.

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Transcription of Bring Your Story to Life

Sue: (00:09)
Hello and welcome to the ‎Photographs in a Shoebox Podcast with Sue Kennedy. This podcast is all about helping and inspiring you to tell your family story in pictures.

Sue: (00:25)
Today, we are talking about bringing your story to life, or to put it another way, existing in photographs. Now, with today’s phone cameras, it’s really too easy to hit delete. In the old days, those unflattering shots of my teenage self would never have survived. I would have immediately deleted them, but that was harder to do in the days of film. You had to wait for the prints to be developed and then destroy them. And I just never bothered. So they still exist today. I remember trying to take a video of my daughter having a full-blown tantrum over nothing.

Sue: (01:11)
First thing she did when she realised what I was doing was grab the phone off me and delete the video. It is too easy these days to remove photographs that you don’t like. I know we don’t like having our photographs taken. I’ve yet to meet anyone that comes into the studio and says, “I just love having my photograph taken.” No one says that. Really. No one. But I would encourage you to do it. I have had plenty taken by my husband in a mad rush. I do direct him, which is why I’m not allowed to take the big camera out because apparently, I get very bossy.

Sue: (01:56)
But generally, our partners aren’t thinking flattering angles and good light when they take a photograph of us. And that does not help the situation. But still, I would encourage you to be in photographs. You don’t want the only photos of your children’s childhood to be of you when baby first arrives looking utterly shattered and bewildered holding a newborn, and then again at their 18th. What tends to happen is mums become the photographer, so they’re always behind the camera, never in front of it.

Sue: (02:39)
I get that the children are cuter than you probably feel and you don’t want to ruin the picture or whatever, I’ve heard all the excuses, I’ve said them all myself as well, but I just like to counter that with this thought, the history women is very patchy. We need to be seen. We need to take and keep photos of us both at home and at work, and also write things down, notes about our passions, and collect souvenirs like old business cards and put them in our box of memories.

Sue: (03:23)
Well, basically it’s to inspire our children and also to inspire ourselves, because it’s good to look back and think, “Wow! Did I do that?” Particularly when you’ve just had your first baby and suddenly you’re in that routine of feeding, changing nappies, and just trying to catch up on sleep. It can be a real transformation from the working days. You sat there, literally as the memes all say, “I used to be cool. I used to do fun things. And now this is what I am doing.” I know we wouldn’t change it for the world, but these moments still need to be recorded.

Sue: (04:10)
I think it’s important that our children have a solid sense of our parents’ past. With my daughter, I want her to be able to snuggle up with her children and laugh at the terrible hairstyles grandma had and my clothing choices back in 2021, because you know that will happen. I think that to bring our stories to life through photographs, we should include the every day, perhaps some of the mundane moments. Probably not the arguments, but I don’t think everything we need we keep needs to be rose-tinted Instagram perfect, because life just isn’t.

Sue: (04:59)
We’re just recording our world, our real world so that we can look back and smile 10, 20, 30 years down the line. Think about those first day back of school photos, the family days, out and so on, and keep those photographs safe. Don’t hit delete too often because you don’t know what part of your history you’ll be throwing away. So anyway, as always, don’t forget to subscribe wherever you’re listening so you never miss an episode. Until next week, bye for now.

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