Photographs are strange records of time gone past. My parents didn't have many (see below) because they couldn't afford to buy the film nor have them developed. My sisters and I regularly grumble at the decreasing number they had of us as children - so dozens of the eldest reducing to maybe one or two of the youngest - and with four children any difference shown was enough to start a war. I don't think they were unusual, people simply didn't have as much disposable cash as we all seem to nowadays.
In contrast, in our home we have dozens of photos - pictures of the kids, on holiday, at school, family events. Loads on display and boxes and boxes in the huge cupboard under the stairs. A year ago we were pulling the box out a lot in preparation for the embarrassment we hoped to inflict on the eldest at her 18th birthday party. Sorting through the snapshots has been great fun - causing guffaws of laughter, cries of 'shame about the face' and chagrin from the youngest about the small number we have of her compared to the others. De ja vu, indeed.
But what was interesting and had never occurred to me before was the view expressed by a dear friend on a recent visit - of all the photos on display, there are none of me with the exception of one whole family photograph we had taken at a studio. Well, of course, it is me who takes the photos. I carry the camera and pull it our often enough to record the kids and daft happenings or to recreate a shot from years gone by (so last summer we drove to a specific spot to take picture of the kids in the same pose we have up on a screensaver from 10 years gone by) but as the kids are always busy, doing, I record the doings. And I, well I don't do anything. I am the recorder, the observer, the big fat controller.