I was looking at this photo and loving it to pieces. For the bazillionith time. And for good reason, it's an adorable snap one of about 60 we took trying to get the girls to pose adorably in their Christmas shirts for our Christmas cards. But they weren't interested in sitting adorably. They wanted to jump and squirm and strangle each other. They mooned, giggled, looked left and right at opposite times, fell over, pulled faces, squealed, yelled, jumped about and then they got bored and wanted to downstairs and play. And we just wanted to fall in a heap and sleep. Kudos to professional photographers I tell you.
But when we were looking through the photos and saw this one, it made us laugh because it captured them perfectly in so many ways. So we added some text, a border and headed to the local Big W to print them out.
And that's the modern way.
Somebody was bitching recently about Instagram and how it has ruined honest photography. But photography has never been completely honest. Few of us hang around in posed positions, or dress to complement each other*, or happen to be laughing into each others eyes with the sun in the right position. The daily snaps we take of our children, our lovers, our pets are all reminders of when people are at their best. Moments which make your heart swell. For some, they feel like this about food if my Facebook feed is anything to go by - but that's fine - love is love.
And the fact is, when you love someone or something, the love is all the time, not just when they are being photogenic. You love them when they are yelling, cross, cross-eyed, out of sorts, bruised, toilet training, asleep and drooling (looking at you husband) and a myriad of other times. You love them when they say funny things, stupid things, cross things and loving things. You love them when they sulk, don't talk, grump or do the eye-roll thing that drives you wild with exasperation. You love them sweaty, smelly, dirty and tired. And when you try to explain to people how this love works for you, there aren't enough words.
So you take a picture. And you soften the edges, brighten the colours and frame their smiles. So that when other people look at your picture, they can see what you see all the time. Love. Happiness. Joy.
(* I obviously exclude young hand holding Christians newly in love - who always seem to wear matching stripey tops in either navy or red. It's true. You'll notice them everywhere you go now.)