Wednesday, 11 November 2015

For Ever Young

For Ever Young

This youth that fades away
And burns in war’s fierce fire
Lifts up its head where only youth has sway
And blooms anew in land of Hearts’ Desire

One moment’s pain, then joy
The Great Gates open wide
And he who passed them as a happy boy
Knows not grey years, nor grief’s returning tide

Ah Youth, for ever young
May this grim woe of ours
Look through the dark and see where you have flung
Upon our road bright portents and fair flowers

The photo was taken during the summer, when the poppies were flowering in the fields. I was reminded of their symbolism, and wanted to make a tribute of our own.

The poem is by Pte Charles Sandford, 2/5th Gloucester Regiment. He was a patient at Wharncliffe War Hospital, in Sheffield, on the 16th October, 1916 (where my Grandmother played the piano to entertain the patients). It was written almost exactly a hundred years ago during the First World War, in my Grandmother's autograph book. My sister has kept the book, and recently photographed its pages. She went as far as researching some of the names, and discovered the author of this poem was killed less than a year after it was written, at Arras, on 22nd April, 1917. Just one soldier amongst hundreds of thousands who remain for ever young.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Poppy Fields

It's hard to say whether I prefer natural, outdoors shoots, or 'fancy-dress' themes. Either way, I love images that tell a story. Little Ro loves nothing more than being outdoors, whatever the weather, and I love shooting him outside as the seasons progress. Despite a promising, sunny morning, as I drove to this location, the clouds gathered, and it began to rain. On arrival, I asked the boy if he still wanted to get out of the car for a run around, and inevitably, the answer was yes (inclement weather has never bothered him, much). I read an article once, that said the thing children prize above everything else, is the freedom of playing outdoors (if I could find the article again, I would link it). I definitely believe it's important to spend time outside, and I'm so grateful to be able to find places like this, close to the countryside. 

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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Bright Boy

No doubt the title of this post makes me sound like a 'braggy Mum,' but I promise I am describing his outfit! Nearly all of Little Ro's clothes are second-hand (because I love to be thrifty, and children's clothes are outgrown so quickly), but I do occasionally splash out on a new, trendy outfit, if one takes my fancy. I loved the bright colours of this season's range from NEXT, especially the slightly retro braces on these shorts. I couldn't resist photographing this outfit against the 2CV once again, and the gorgeous summer colours of my Mum's garden - she has green fingers! There was a hat too, but Little Ro wasn't in the mood to wear it on this occasion.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sunshine Child

I've had this concept and title in mind for well over a year. I intended to shoot it last year, when the rapeseed fields were at their yellowest, but for one reason or another, I was unable to find the right field at the right time, with the right weather.
This year, we haven't had much of a summer yet, and I wasn't convinced that the rapeseed would be ready and at its best. However, there have been so few sunny days, and I have a busy schedule coming up, so I didn't want to miss my opportunity altogether for another year, and decided to go for it on a warm-ish Sunday afternoon.
Little Ro has outgrown the outfit I'd originally had in mind (which was denim dungarees with the same yellow top). Luckily, this pair still fits him, and he can just about squeeze into the yellow (albeit very probably for the last time). I think in the end, I prefer the more vintage feel of the brown dungarees, especially from behind, as they could almost have stepped out of any era, so it's harder to date the shots, and I like that ambiguity.
We had a near disaster early on in the shoot. I'd come prepared with the yellow balloon, and inevitably, it popped on entry to the field. Little Ro looked like his heart might break. It's the first time I've seen him fully understand and get involved with a photography concept. He knew we were going to a yellow field - with a yellow balloon - to take photos, and he was devastated when it briefly looked like things weren't going to plan.
Fortunately, Little Ro's Daddy saved the day, by heading off to purchase a new yellow balloon (and several spares as back-up, just in case), while I reassured a disappointed child that it wasn't the end of the world, and we walked the dog. Once provided with a new yellow balloon, I just stood back and let the boy naturally do his thing (keeping to the tractor tracks within the field, so no damage was done to the crops).
It's lovely when a concept finally comes to fruition, and this series is almost exactly as I had pictured them, along with a few additions.