I was looking through some of my pictures recently and pondering on which, of the many many photos I’ve taken in my time, I would say is my favourite. Well a few stand out because of their photographic quality, some for their subject, some for their occasion and some for all three. They say a picture speaks a thousand words so I’m going to use those thousand words to tell you the back story of one of my favourite pictures.
“I took this photo at a wedding. Not just any wedding but a wedding for which I was best man, the first, and possibly last time I will have that privilege, but I am ok with that as I got to be best man for the wedding between two of my favourite people in the world. Tom and Lea are two of my best friends, I’ve known them for quite some time, we’ve sat up round campfires chatting, been on quite bizarre road trips together (ask them about Merthyr Tydfil and “number 46” if you ever get the chance), and we’ve seen all of our lives change quite significantly over the years. When Tom asked me to be best man I could not have been more grateful and the wedding was a total pleasure to be involved in. I got to spend the days running up to the wedding with my best mate while we organised marquees, wedding suits, bridal hampers, haircuts, beer barrels and hog roasts and even had a broken clutch to deal with. The night before the wedding me and him relaxed in one of the outhouses of his parents country cottage having a chat about life and looking forward to the next day. The day of the wedding was something which could have happened in an Enid Blyton story complete with small country church and classic soft top sports car to transport the now Mr and Mrs to the reception. A reception which held in the grounds of Toms parents cottage was the ideal family location, like something from “Darling Buds of May”, it was formal enough but always welcoming. Warm breeze, flowers in bloom, local girl guides being the waitresses and a large gathering of family and friends. We had the meal then speeches, the brides best friend (fellow primary school teacher like Lea) spoke complete with laminated speech, mine was less meticulously planned but being a secondary school teacher I know nothing can go wrong when you ad-lib and then Tom, who despite desperate googling attempts moments before, just went with what came out and it all came out well. Then as the afternoon progressed to evening, tea turned to hog roast, “drink”, music and twinkles. Lea loves sparkles so the side of the hillside in the grounds had been covered with fairy lights, bunting and night lights in jars. I went for a brief stroll to the other side of the valley to get a better view and it looked magical, all the coloured lights in trees, and sounds of cheery people passing time in the best way, with good conversation and drinking. Once I’d got back I fetched the camera from the car and took a few photos which until now, being best man, I had not had chance to do. As I wondered back into the party Lea and a few guests had wondered into the garden and, beyond the party games and teepee, had found a place to perch on a wall overlooking the party. Lea in her wedding dress, adorned with blue glow stick, sat nestled in between tea lights and bunting while I snapped a few photos. I rested my camera on a wall and took a photo of one of the tea lights in a jar, a relatively quick snap but what turned out to be my favourite photo. I love this photo because the colours are so great, I love this photo because of the way the jar shines. I love this photo because of the focus and the warmth but most of all I love it because it brings back memories of a truly magical day.”
So that’s my favourite photo, in 611 words, didn’t even take me a thousand. I could say so much more but I won’t. A thousand, two thousand, ten thousand would not convey the true meaning of the photo for me. You can’t photograph a feeling but this comes close so I will just hope you appreciate the meaning behind the photo a little. Although it might not be your favourite photo, that’s ok, because the beauty of favourites is they are ours to keep. That said though I hope you like it a little. 🙂 As for why tell this story well Tom and Lea are still happily married and have since had a little girl called Lola. Lola is one today and I hope maybe one day this will explain why there is a canvas of this photo hung on one of the walls at her house.
Lola, when your older I’ll tell you loads of funny stories that will let you know exactly who your parents are but for now know your mum and dad are two of my very best friends. They have always supported me and for that and just because they both have such generous souls I love them very much and as you are theirs I will love you also. Happy Birthday little one! x