A day out.
Written by Rob Dose.
I have the faintest memory of going to Monument hill with my Nonna when I was barely older than a toddler. Little snippets of images and feelings running around my brain, never standing still long enough to see it clearly. What I can see clearly though, are the few photos that were taken of me that day.
When I became a parent, my goal was not just to create amazing images for my own kids, but also to create amazing experiences for them to remember. It is absolutely a core belief of mine that the best photos of people come from the best experiences.
When Ann hired me to come out with her for a day trip to Penguin Island, with the intention of getting photographs of her grandkids, I thought the idea was wonderful. That might have had something to do with the opportunity to jump on my kayak.
Children have a quality that adults have lost. They are wild! I say lost because it is genuinely a positive aspect of a child, that they can take the ordinary and make it explode with delight. They find wonder in the simple mechanics of their universe. Their universe.
I don’t like to squash in a child what is so magical about them in the first place. Every one of them have a personality that they themselves may never get to know. By the time they are old enough to start looking back on their childhood, they will be tame.
The world they live in will also change. Suburbs are built, coastlines move, and everyone around them will grow older. Their entire world will be replaced with one that only looks familiar. Although Ann asked me to take these photos for her, I really think these photos are for the kids.
Of all the kids I grew up with, half of them I don’t see anymore, and the other half I don’t see nearly enough. Even my brothers. We all move on in our direction, we find other people travelling the same and we form a new social group. But we never forget the people who mattered the most to us as kids.
Our face is our window out, our first line of communication, and uniquely recognisable as ours through-out the world. But it never stays the same.
You may remember I mentioned kayaking. Ann’s trip out today was for her husband and her kids to go on a sea kayaking adventure around Penguin and Seal Island. Ann got to keep the grandkids and meet them on Penguin Island via the Ferry service. Unfortunately it was freezing cold, raining, and very windy. The first leg of their journey to get to Seal Island was less than pleasant.
Ann offered me a ticket on the ferry. But there was no way I was going to miss kayaking. In contrast to the journey the rest were making, my decision to enter the water closer to Penguin Island payed off with calm water, no wind, and even a spot of sun on me.
If you have not been to Penguin Island, I do recommend it. It is a small coastal island near Rockingham that at low tide is connected to the mainland via a sand bar. In case you were wondering, there are penguins on Penguin Island.
On Boxing Day in 2004 I walked across the sandbar to reach the island, completely oblivious to the catastrophic tsunami that had destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives through-out Asia and Africa. On the walk across I witnessed what appeared to be the tide rising and falling at maximum every ten minutes. The ocean was literally rippling with very low frequency waves. That is just one of my memories of this place.
Meeting up again on the Island, everyone ate some lunch that Ann had provided and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and calmness.
If there was ever a way to conduct a family photo shoot, this was it.
I hope that for these kids, the photos I took today gain more and more value the longer they keep them. They won’t remember this as a photo shoot, I’ll probably get lost in the distortion of time. It’s the day they went to Penguin Island. It’s a memory of a time, a place, and a family.
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