I was thinking about a couple of unrelated things today and realised they had a connection. First off, I have been sorting out a new abode for my working week in Sydney. This has involved ransacking our home for bits and pieces to make the new place feel more like home. I came across this Kodak box during my search and it conjured up many precious memories. This was my grandfather Poppy’s Kodak instamatic camera and proudly purchased during one of my summer holiday stays in 1967/68. He and I spent many hours going for drives taking pics of each other to see how this new camera worked.
Looking at his pics, with a critical eye, you can tell Poppy wasn’t much of a photographer, and he had a thing about making me face the sun when taking my picture so I am squinting in every single one. However, when I look at his photos they tell a story to me and my favourite is the one on the right where I just make it into the frame. I can tell I am going through my Mexican/Native American Indian phase because I was obsessed with those cultures around that time (the plaits give it away). I wasn’t a typical ‘blonde hair/ blue eyed’ Aussie kid and identified with people whose colouring/looks were similar to mine (I also had a Spanish, Italian and Tahitian phase).
The images in this blog are compelling and I have always wanted to take images like these on my travels. However, I always feel a bit shy about poking my camera in someone’s face and wondered how great photographers g0t those images. There are some great tips here, especially on how to build a connection and get a beautiful image that tells a story (it’s all in the eyes – and nobody is squinting into the light here Poppy). I cant wait to go on the road and try them out for myself.
My grandfather’s wonky photos are important to me and, whilst they cant compete with Wanderlust’s beautiful images, they contain similar elements. A connection, the background and people in them tell a story about a happy summer spent in another time and place and, you know, I think they show Poppy’s skills as a photographer improving too.