“Holy freakin’ s@#t, it’s cold!” I was yelling inside my head while tip toeing from the steps into the ocean pool. Mum and Dad were in earshot and I wanted them to stay proud while pointing my way to their swimming friends – “Yes, that’s our eldest son, Andrew,” they boasted, “he’s visiting.”
I’m unsure whether it’s the same for girls as it is boys when entering cold water. For boys, there comes a point as the cold water travels slowly up the thigh when it’s do or die. It’s either get in or get out because entering slowly just prolongs the anxiety of cold, retreating tackle.
Anyway… I made it all the way in, finished two laps and told dad I’m going to grab my camera for a few snaps, it’s too cold.
My mum and dad swim every day together. Every morning at Mona Vale ocean pool. Mum says occasionally she doesn’t feel like going but aways regrets it if she doesn’t.
Now they just go.
A morning swim. Followed by a coffee. It’s a ritual.
Most of their swimming friends meet up for a coffee after a swim. Not mum and dad. They go together. They prefer each others company.
It wasn’t till later the same afternoon that I realised the significance of my photos.
The morning light wasn’t favourable and mum didn’t want to be photographed at that time of day. Dad did, he always loves to be photographed.
A silhouette was a good solution. Everyone was happy.
Standing there on the top step, silhouetted and holding hands I grabbed the shot and was happy with it. It wasn’t till later I thought more about that simple photo.
The black shapes of two people, together. Holding hands.
That’s Linda and me. That’s the couples I photograph most weekends. That’s the mums and dads I photograph on family shoots. That’s what a good life is, represented right there in those two shapes.
Loving who you’re with and knowing they love you.
All that from one photo. Snapped in an instant on just another ordinary day doing what they ordinarily do.