It might seem strange, doing a post on a photographer and her daughter immediately after reblogging a piece featuring the same two (see previous post for link) – but after the reblog I was aimlessly drifting through Amelia‘s Instagram feed, when I had a small epiphany. It’s the usual happy tumble of four children having exquisitely-photographed fun together – from eight-year-old India to recently new-born Hugo – and I’d honestly have to say I’ve posted on a number of similar Instagram/Flickr families before: but this time I was really struck by how much this blog originates from my own lack of sisters or daughters.
I’m sure it’s a complex psychological process that I’m probably the last person to try to fathom – and I’m equally sure that it makes my pleasure in visual reproductions of young females hopelessly separate from physical reality…….except how their own mothers also sometimes perceive them. In Amelia’s post above she comments – whimsically, but with a note of true wonder:
“I’m not sure she’s real, perhaps I just imagined her.”
………which reminded me of a comment to a portrait of her daughter (Imogen) by one of the Flickr mother/photographers, Angie Baxter, from August last year (here):
“My baby. My big girl. What a gift to be her mother – although somehow I think she’s just bringing me along for the ride.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t feel you’d get the same reaction – awe, disbelief in their almost supernatural beauty and already-formed characters – from the mothers of boys: maybe my own emotional and aesthetic responses aren’t so unrealistic after all – but would I feel the same if I’d been vaccinated by my own dose of sisters and/or daughters?
I’ll leave the question hanging – but also note how welcome a slight break this is: featuring such a seemingly-uncomplicated, domestic version of girlish sweetness amidst Evgeny Matveev‘s body-conscious, isolated teen models. This isn’t to criticise him – who knows what relationship India and Imogen will have with their own bodies and sense of self at the ages he’s portraying – and how they would present themselves to a photographer in solitary portraits in a studio, or out in the woods.
Anyway, India’s present life is spent deep in the bosom of a loving family – with the ducklings, crayfish, and wildflowers – a girl who luckily (as her mother says) loves babies and little brothers, while having a dreamy, contemplative character that enjoys poems and writing songs:
The Instagram feed is obviously dominated by the kids, and India in particular – but tells a bitter-sweet story as it unfolds (or in fact recedes into the past – as social media tend to). Amelia is English, and about half-way through her mum died back home. She might seem to be living an idyllic existence in the countryside near Nashville – four adorable kids and a husband whom she dotes on (even writing a poem to him for their anniversary) – but the loss of her mother put the value of everything (physical as well as emotional and spiritual) in doubt. She’s a strong, gifted woman with a lot going for her, and I have no doubt she’ll get through it in time – but as always, perfection is very much the perception of the outsider: her real life is as complicated as yours or mine.
Here are Amelia and India together – two really special people:
As a PS, I’ve also decided to remove the two sidebar galleries – their content seeming more puerile day by day. Given that the space will always be there, and may as well be used, I thought a gallery devoted to the “iconic” images I’m often banging on about would be a good substitute. Watch this…….well, that….space….
Eight with #indiapoppyrose has had me pulled back into my childhood full of strong memories of moments realizing what's fair and what's not, friendship woes, becoming more independent, planning future adventures, really thinking for myself. And so the complicated journey really begins to adulthood. She's very much like I was in some ways, but much braver. I only hope I can get through it as well as I know she will. • • • • #pixel_kids #candidchildhood #letthekids #cameramama #childhoodeveryday #magicofchildhood #childhoodunplugged #kidsforreal #thesincerestoryteller #clickinmoms #runwildmychild #mymagicalmoments #raisinggirls #stillagirl #motherhoodunplugged #childhoodmemories #unitedinmotherhood #childhoodeveryday #simplifymotherhood #follow_this_light #my_magical_moments #celebrate_childhood