The emotions of parenting in black and white
As part of my monthly mentoring and training that I’m undertaking with award winning photographer, mentor and trainer Nina Mace, we’ve been tasked with writing about black and white photography. I was a bit stumped with what to write about until today, when my pre-teen erupted.
This got me thinking about the contrast and volatility in her behaviour; our relationship; my reaction and how we’re going to get through these years. I think back to the early days of parenting when all we both wanted to do was to sit and cuddle…and yes, get a bit of sleep. Almost overnight, we watched you grow up, develop your personality, stretch the boundaries and push for independence and all the while, we worry if we’re taking the right approach.
I know you are still a sweet loving girl under all angst and hormonal change. I see it in the way you treat your friends, hear it from your teachers and the parents of your friends, see your passion and determination for your education, sports and music. AND occasionally, you still want to sit on my lap and have a hug.
I’m proud of the young woman you’re becoming and I will never stop loving you. I know you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and life feels so unfair at times. I’ve been there. I stropped around, rolled my eyes at everything my parents said or did, nagged, badgered and reduced my lovely Mom (not a typo, I’m from 🇨🇦) to tears on occasion too (sorry Mom!!). We’ll get through this, right?
I’ve not been one to read any of the ‘how to…’ parenting books and so far we’ve gone with our instincts and our own childhood experiences.. But now it seems a bit more critical than deciding whether we use the ‘naughty step’ or a star chart. If I push back too hard will she come back? How do you cope with such emotion and keep the behaviour in line and prevent it from affecting younger siblings?
What does all this have to do with photography?
I shoot in colour but often convert highly emotive images to black and white. I want the feelings to predominate and the contrast of white and black to enhance the intensity of emotions. Colour can often be distracting and take attention away from the subject. Removing the colour from the image allows us to focus on the image for what it is.
With emotions running so high in my house, I wonder if we’ll start seeing more black and white in my work as we journey through the teenage years?
If you have any tips for getting through the pre-teen and teenage years, please share in the comments.
Collaboration not competition
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post – if you would like to see more inspiration from other professional photographers within the #collaborationnotcompetition project then feel free to visit any of the websites below:
Anna Hurst Photography ❉ Catriona Mairi Photography ❉ Charles Thorne Photography ❉ Clare Harding Photography ❉ Clare Walpole Photography ❉ Dandelion Photography ❉ Derya Vicars Photography ❉ Hannah Cornford Photography ❉ Helen Rowan Photography ❉ Jo Haycock Photography ❉ Photography by Leela ❉ Light Monkey Photography ❉ Louisa French Photography ❉ Lyndsey Abercromby ❉ Lynne Harper Photography ❉ Mel Wilson Photography ❉ Nadine Brandt Photography ❉ Sarah Gibson Photography ❉ Portrayed Photography ❉ Danielle Reeder Photography ❉ Tor Keene Photography and Nina Mace Photography