The Family.

Family, the importance of family, the importance of family support.

I am from a massive family that are spread worldwide, I am who I am because of these people. Two people in particular have instilled the importance of family since day one, they are my Grandparents.

John & Gladys have been married for 67 yrs, they have live in the same house for pretty much all of that time, they raised their family in that house which was no mean feat, 9 of them in a 3 bed semi detached! I always joke with them that they couldn’t of had a tv back then to have 7 kids, 6 girls and 1 boy (my poor Uncle Mike!!).

From the start my Gran & Grandad live in a small town called Oakdale in Poole, Dorset on the south coast of the UK. They grew up during WW2 with my Grandad serving in the fire service as a watchman, he would watch the planes come over to bomb us and make notes of all the fires then hop on his bike and get back to base with the list. Could you imagine your 16yr old doing that now??

From an early age all the grand kids would go to Grannys to raid the shed of toys and see what was new in there of If we were finally big enough to ride the red bike with solid wheels! It was a regular thing to just turn up and walk through the door and see your Aunts, Uncles and cousins there as well.

My family make me who I am, they have moulded me, taught me lessons, taught me photography, taught me that no matter how tough things are you’ll always have family. For me this can only of come from my Gran & Grandad, the way they brought up my Mum and her siblings was amazing. My Grandad working at the Gas board and then shooting weddings, portraits, commercial work, all in his spare time just to be able to feed the family.

Doing weddings with my Grandad was a special thing for me, shooting on film and learning from someone who at that point had been taking photo’s for around 40 yrs. After he retired I carried on his traditional photography style till I found my feet some years later, now I am my own boss and shoot weddings my way but always with Grandad in the back of my mind, the fundamentals he taught will always stay in there.

Now I work with my Mum and my Sister, they are the behind the scenes that keep me on track with emails, phone calls, paper work and all the boring stuff. After an accident a couple years back my brain isn’t what it used to be so I rely on my family to keep me going even when I do forget things and things have to be repeated 4 times before I actually remember to do them. I’m always massively thankful I have a family like this and that has been brought up this way.

So the following set of pictures are around my Gran & Grandads house. They are both now 89 yrs old. The past few years have been really tough on the family as my Gran has Dementia and really doesn’t remember anyone who comes in the house. A few years back I shot a family portrait on the steps of the Guildhall building in central Poole, it used to be the baths where a lot of people would wash once a week but now its converted into a wedding venue. This picture was taken off the wall daily and used to help Gran name all the members but gradually the names got less and less. The family comes together to help my Grandad care for her. These pictures just show how much family means to them, the amount of photos on the walls and family moto’s around is amazing, even a picture I drew in middle school at around 11 yrs old is in a frame along with my GCSE art piece that was their 50th wedding anniversary present. The wedding ring on my Grans finger that has never been off her hand, and when I say never I mean never.

Hope you get what i’m getting at!?

FAMILY just FAMILY. Family have helped me achieve my goals in photography all the way to winning Photographer of the Year 2015 and confirming that i’m doing the right thing in life. This award is not just mine it’s my family’s.

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