Tuesday, October 27

One Year Anniversary of a Photograph


THIS IS MY favourite photograph of her. I did not take enough photographs of her (although I am not one to take photographs at a music concert, or that many of my growing niece, preferring instead to just enjoy the occasion and not having to fumble with a camera or a phone), but I do not dare to think how many photographs I would have had to take of her before this was no longer my favourite. There is no pause after you asking me—‘What is your favourite photograph of her?’ There is only this photograph.
This photograph is one year old today, or, more accurately, it was one year old this afternoon. It was the day after we had seen Mogwai, the two of us enjoying a sunny morning in Brighton town. We had picked up a few bits for my niece, recently arrived and pink, and were in a pub nearby the railway. At this precise moment she is looking up from rolling a cigarette, catching me aiming my lens at her. She smiles at me and I click. That afternoon we would travel back into London and then up to Essex to see who had christened me ‘Uncle’. The baby was small; she held her but I did not, photographs of which I captured on my phone but deleted soon after the break-up, so anxious was I to purge.
After I received the film back from the developers I was immediately in love with this photograph and, offering the roll to her, asked which she thought was my favourite. She narrowed it down to four and then finally handed me the above. Occasionally she was immodestly aware of her beauty, which I quite enjoyed, rarely did she find herself as stunning as I did. As she knew she had guessed right, she gave a smile again, identical to the one I had photographed.

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