A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE BLACKMAN FAMILY
James is one of my oldest friends in the world, we’ve known each other now for over 30 years now, he was best man at my wedding, and I was at his, and his eldest son Michael is my god son. Therefore I thought he, Carrie, and their three sons, Michael, Ivan and Oscar would make excellent Guinea Pigs for the first of my full Day in the Life Photography Experiences. We chose a rainy Saturday in January and after probably one too many drinks the night before we were woken by the boys at around 6.30am in the morning!
The brief for a Day in the Life is really for it to be an ordinary day. I hope it will become an excuse for families to spend quality time together being themselves and not feel that they need to put on a show or feel the need to be something they’re not. I’ve always felt that I want to show families how extraordinary their ‘ordinary’ actually is, to honestly represent their relationships and document their idiosyncrasies, to remind them of how things felt, show them what a wonderful world they are living in and what a great job they are doing. This was the only brief I gave James and Carrie and though we did take a trip to the Greenwich Observatory, where they often like to go as a family, other than that the whole day was spent at home with the boys.
Though Michael is my god son I haven’t been able to spend nearly as much time with him and his brother’s Ivan and Oscar as I would like to, mainly as I live in Devon and they’re all in Lewisham but also because we all seem to lead such hectic lives these days and maybe we prioritise the wrong things. So while this day was really about giving the Blackmans time with each other it was also lovely for me to connect with the boys and really get to know them a bit better.
Having shot exclusively weddings for nearly ten years I can’t tell you how exciting it was to photograph something new. Although was it really something new? I’ve always felt that photographing weddings was really about representing the people and their relationships and what I found over the course of this day was that essentially so is family photography. I’ve always really enjoyed photographing the evenings at weddings, once the guests have all had a bit to drink and lost their inhibitions, and what I discovered during my day with the Blackmans is that photographing children is like this all day!
Jimmy, Carrie, Michael, Ivan and Oscar thank you so much for trusting me to be part of your family for the day. I loved every minute of it and hope it won’t be too long til we get to do it again – camera or no camera! Lots of love to you all from Uncle Bott