When I stumbled upon this photograph the other day it triggered many happy memories of a family holiday to Sorrento, Italy some time in the late nineties.
I remembered how my Mum & I became separated from my Dad & brother in the vast maze that is Pompeii just as the sky darkened and storm clouds gathered above. Torrential rain pounded us both for what seemed like hours as we tried to navigate our way to shelter (i.e café!) using our dripping wet tourist map. I enjoyed the whole thing very much. My Mother less so. After the first 10 minutes she no longer agreed that it was an adventure or that we were bonding! Eventually we found our way to the seriously overcrowded, humid café to find my Dad & brother dry as a bone and satisfied with the substantial lunch they had devoured half an hour earlier. “Blimey” my Dad said as he looked us up and down, “we did wonder where you’d got to!”
Yes it’s a bit random, but I felt compelled to share this memory because it reminded me why I am a photographer. Time slips through our fingers so quickly and taking a moment every now and again to reflect on a time or place in our past is so important. I hadn’t forgotten that adventure in the rain, but I had buried it. Just seeing this photograph brought it all back to the forefront of my mind and suddenly I could see my lanky teenage self, dashing through the crumbling ruins of that beautiful place and calling out to my ever faithful Mum to follow me, despite having no real idea where I was going! Had this photograph not been taken, how long would it be before I recalled that simple, happy memory? Would it still have been there?
I love the idea of creating memory triggers for other people; that one day a photograph I have taken will bring a broad smile to someone’s face as they remember a different time in their lives with fondness and affection. Quite a privilege.
Captured on some film or other