Every now and then I get the familiar pang of regret and I wish I could go back. I had my chance to document my grandparents while they were still with us and I didn't take it. In my early 20's I enjoyed photography but I didn’t realise the importance of documenting the details of everyday.
I wish I could go back as I am now, with camera in tow and document all of the things I remember of my grandparents.
As children, my sister and I would race up to the kitchen bench and pick up each stool and give it a shake to make sure we weren’t getting the one with the mysterious rattle inside. Then we would sit and watch my grandfather wash all the veggies he had brought in from his garden. Of course these memories are etched in my mind. I just have to close my eyes and I can see him. Or at any moment I can see my Nanna sitting on her outdoor swing reading a magazine. She would hear us and look up and smile as we ran out the back door. While these memories will always be mine to treasure, they can't be shown to my children or passed down the line.
Last year I stumbled across my Nanna and Poppa’s old home in the real estate section and took the opportunity to show my kids the house. It surprisingly hadn't been renovated. Same wallpaper, same kitchen. It was a big deal to me to take the kids back to a big part of my childhood. They had never been to this house, my grandparents had passed before my youngest was born. Of course they weren't overly interested, unaware of the importance to me. I really wanted to take my camera and capture my children in the house, but I thought it was a bit strange seeing as it doesn’t belong to my grandparents anymore. So I settled for a few iPhone snaps to show that they had been there and bored the kids with a running commentary. “This is where we used to play libraries with my cousins and here are the rose bushes where we used to put the petals in water and pretend to make our own perfume.” I wanted them to see the bench that my Nanna used to sit at and scribble little pictures as she talked on the telephone. The tree we used to climb. Where we used to have the Christmas tree in front of the bay window and my Poppa would wear his flashing rainbow headband to make me and my cousins laugh.
This is what I want to give to my clients, the photos that I never took.