I have a picture in my mind’s eye.
Once I was a little girl with blonde curls and blue eyes, clutching a cuddly soft toy under my arm.
Those eyes blinked once, and then suddenly I am ten. Already I have found some interests to pursue.
I had my first riding lessons on a black racehorse named Chunkette. She left a lasting impression on me (and not just on my tender bottom) Gentle to ride yet she had a quietly determined character. She liked to lead the way when trotting along the jungle path.
I took many photos with my brand new camera and instantly I was hooked into an abiding passion – photography. Such magic to be able to capture pictures of the present which would become fond memories of the past. What an exciting and absorbing activity this has become. Little did I realise at that moment how my childhood interests would become my lifelong passion.
I blinked again and it was the next decade I kept up my horse-riding. I took pictures to record my interests and life experiences but alas they went missing over the years.
I learned to develop and print my own film photographs in the school darkroom. Precious pictures of those schoolgirl years long since past but still they remain in my albums.
A decade after my first riding lessons, I bought my own horse. Yes it was another beautiful black racehorse. It seems I had a certain affinity with racehorses. I took pictures of course.
My first job when I left school was hand-painting aerial photographs using photo oil paints. My second photographic job saw me making large mosaic aerial photomaps of rural properties. No horses but plenty of farm animals in the photo maps. Lots of time spent in the darkroom, developing and printing very large aerial photographs, using copy cameras and retouching negatives.
Once again I was making pictures to identify the present land use and to record these for posterity.
In my third decade my passion for photography was set aside for a short time as motherhood and parenting took priority. However there were still plenty of photographic opportunities in that part of my life journey. I took many pictures of my children and I put them in my family albums.
I look at these pictures of the past quite often these days.
Fourth decade: As I travelled the country with my work in early childhood education, I became aware of the emerging importance of photo documentation of children’s learning journeys. I took many pictures of early childhood environments, examples of best teaching practice, and of the many work colleagues who became close friends. I was able once again to focus on my lifelong passion for photography.
I had also discovered digital and video cameras. Now there were limitless images to capture and record. And so much more to learn. The internet arrived. I started a 365 project – a photo a day for 365 days. I’m now into the 8th year of my 365 project. What can I say… it is an addiction. And I’m still learning.
Over the last three decades I have been capturing my travel memories in photographs. So many pictures to record our amazing trips around the world. Travelling internationally may now be a distant memory.
These memories are already my pictures of the past.
Fortunately, I now have 7 grandchildren. My latest and greatest joy is when I capture pictures of their blonde curls and blue eyes. The pictures of the past have become the pictures of the present generation.
I must have blinked my eyes at least once for every decade as my life changed direction, yet I still remain focussed on my abiding passion.
And the pictures of my past? they are still there to remind me of my lifetime memories.