If you’re anything like me things are up and down at the moment. One day homeschooling is going okay and it feels like we are coping in our little bubble, the next I feel unreasonably mad at the world for all the freedoms we’ve lost and wonder how many more months it will be before I can have an hour on my own again!
Looking for the positives though, being forced to slow down has definitely made us focus on what is most important. Our children might have been having way too much screen time but they’ve also been getting more cuddles and longer bed time stories. We’ve spent weekends exploring our local area instead of rushing round from one activity or outing to the next. We’ve had bonfires in the garden, made the best ever chocolate brownies and sat at the kitchen table to write stories and draw pictures.
And while it might feel like nothing exciting (and therefore nothing worth photographing) is happening, actually it is all these things that we should be paying attention to. I’ve always been a big believer in documenting ordinary moments, but that seems even more relevant now that things we used to take for granted have become a really big deal (managing to get a supermarket delivery slot was genuinely the most exciting thing to happen in two months and a wave out of a car window to a friend or relative has become surprisingly special). There might not be much time to do anything very useful but there is more time to notice the little everyday details that usually get missed.
The photographs below were all taken as part of a project I completed in 2017, taking a photo a day in our kitchen. Although life wasn’t restricted in the way it has been during lockdown, with three young children I felt like my own personal world had closed in. My days revolved around the school run, housework and the day to day miracles of keeping small people alive, and any personal dreams or aspirations were put on hold. I picked up my camera as a way to regain some sense of control, turning something chaotic and often overwhelming into something beautiful. The very process of making a daily picture in the same space forced me to focus on things that I usually overlooked and find creative ways to portray them.
You don’t need to embark on a big project to take more meaningful photographs of your life at home. Just keep your camera handy and start actively looking for the little things that matter to you, however mundane they might seem. Step back to record the wider scene or get in close to focus on the details. Most of all think about what your children might like to remember when they recount this time to their own children and grandchildren. I have a funny feeling that a lot of them will look back on Spring/Summer 2020 as a happy time, even though so many of the things that they enjoy have stopped – thinking about the world from their point of view might help us as adults to forget the news headlines for a while and appreciate it too!