The Birthday Party, Thursday 22nd May 1975
Monday, 26 July 2010
The profile on my website says that my love of photography began when my father started shooting family snaps on a Polaroid land camera. On reflection this isn’t entirely true, I think it ignited my love of Polaroid but my passion photograph came much later. The reason I loved the Polaroid camera was the instant gratification it gave. Before the arrival of Polaroid, family photos were taken on film, eventually developed and distributed amongst the adult members of the family but they held little interest for me. The moment had passed and the concept of nostalgia was alien to a 7 year old obsessed with the future and whose favourite television shows were space 1999 and the tomorrow people. So in May 1975 when my father, Kevin “borrowed” the Polaroid Land camera for the summer and a few boxes of film from the estate agency where he worked my interest was ignited. Now photography became a performance. I could create something, dress up as anything, pretend to be anyone and Kevin would take a Polaroid. I’d run to the camera to pull out the film and wait expectantly for the ok to pull apart the film, and wow there I was, instantly reproduced. This wasn’t the past, the last holiday, last Christmas, this was now. Like all highs in life there was a downside however, and to a seven year old boy being made to wash my hands after peeling apart every Polaroid was hell. To encourage me I think there was a scare story circulated about Polaroid acid eating your fingers, hands and eventually your whole body, but it didn’t and thankfully I still have fully functioning limbs and digits. In some ways the act of creating a scenario to photograph has changed little since I was 7, the great thing is now I get paid for the pleasure, unfortunately I now fully understand the concept of nostalgia and often become obsessed with recapturing the childhood freedom that haunts the creative mind. By the way that's me on the right. I don't know why my belt is undone and I don't know what happened to my friend Bruce.