Where do you Keep Your Photographs?

Where do you keep your photographs Sarah Mason Photography

When I lived in London, I probably didn’t visit home as much as I should have done, but when I did, there were a few things I could always rely on. The temperature dropping by a few degrees whilst travelling up the M1, my sister moving more stuff into my old room (the slow take over), and a roast dinner on the Sunday before I set off back down south. And then another routine started on one of these visits.  After the plates were cleared, washed and dried, Mum would open the dresser and out came the old family photos. Kept in a 70’s Quality Street tin, I still love the sound of the lid being lifted, and the rustle of the photo packets inside, like a lucky dip, which era were we going to pick out first? Will it be the 80’s Franki Says T-Shirts phase, holidays on windy Scottish beaches, building dens in the woods, or would we go further back to when Mum and Dad were growing up?

Over the years, the photos have been even more mixed up, which adds to the surprise element of this little ritual. All the ‘best’ photos have made it into frames on the walls, or displayed on bookshelves and the mantlepiece. But it’s the snap shots in the tin I love the most. Not technically perfect in anyway, but just shots of us on location in places we visited, and almost always looking straight at the camera. Mum had a terrible habit of cutting Dad’s head off in the frame when she was the designated photographer, and there are a collection of these shots too, like little gems amongst the muddle of photos. Mum always has the tin on her knee and passes us the photos. I can always tell when she’s picked up one of the ‘where’s Dad’s head?!’ shots, as her face scrunches up and she lets out a laugh! It’s not even about the photos maybe, it’s about these predictable, yet cosy moments that bring us together as a family.

I know so many of us say how much we should print our photos, and it sometimes takes a bit of effort to do this. We have just had some photos printed and we’re going to be going to our framers soon to get the first images of me Suze and Olive on our walls. And for all the other shots we’ve taken over the past 7 months, we’re going to create albums and print out a bunch of 6x4s. We’re just going to print them so we have something tangible. The thought of Olive sitting there with an old tin on her knee passing them around to her family is such a strange thought right now, but this is why we want to do it. For us to enjoy them now, but to provide those moments in the future where she can just stop for a while and take a look at them with her loved ones.

On one of our visits a couple of years ago, me and Suzi wondered if we could make our own photos wallet, so our families can take away this tangible product from their shoot. We launched our photo wallet last year, we love it so much. It’s a trip down nostalgic lane, for those of us who grew up on taking our films in to be developed, but also provides that tactile product for a family to hold. Maybe some of them will make it into frames, or maybe they’ll stay in their wallet to be looked at over the years.

Do you have a place where you keep your printed photos? Are there any more Quality Street tins out there stuffed with photos? We’d love to hear where you keep them, and how you display them.

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Not wanting to be outdone, Dad showed Suzi a few of his favourite photos he’s taken of trees over the years.

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As it’s Sunday, hows about getting those photos out and taking a look together after lunch, or maybe making a promise to yourselves to print a few in the next few weeks?

Here’s a blog post you might like, Don’t Let Your Images Grow Up To Be Jegs, written by Jonas Peterson

We’ve created a Pinterest board with a few ideas on ways to display your photos in your home.

And if you’d like to see more about our portrait packages and our photo wallet, here’s a link to that page.

Sarah Mason Photography Family Photography



At The Kitchen Table

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This week, Olive sat in her shiny new high chair and took her first chomps of avocado, carrot and sweet potato. Although we don’t want to wish time away, this is one thing me and Suzi have been really looking forward to. Sitting down at the table in the kitchen and eating our food together.

I’ve been creating a body of work ‘At the Kitchen Table’. I’m not sure yet if it might be a chapter in our book or an exhibition in the future, i just felt it was the right time to start talking about it, and to ask you for your stories, and if you’d like to take part?

It all started a couple of years ago when I did a shoot with jeweller Toby Cotterill and he told me about the history of his work bench. His Dad is a furniture maker, and he made their childhood kitchen table. It became the centre of their family life, as it is to many families. But this kitchen table evolved, and after some alterations, Toby now uses this table as his work bench.

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It felt very poignant as my Mum and Dad were just moving out of our childhood home, and I remembered all those times sitting at the table. We had a set time for tea every night. While Mum cooked, me and my sister laid the table and Dad hovered. After tea, we’d clear the plates, and I’d sit down back at the table to do my homework, and Dad would read the paper.

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Since doing our family shoots, I’ve noticed how many photos I take of families there. It is so central to life. We usually start shoots at the table, having a chat and a cup of tea before the camera comes out of my bag. It’s good to see the family interacting around the space. I guess I’ve become a bit fascinated by them, these places where we’re nourished both in food and conversation. Since chatting about it on Instagram, I’ve had people sending me stories of their kitchen tables. A common theme are the rules of the table. No phones, all sitting down at the same time to eat, chatting about our days. Family feasts where spare tables are brought down from the loft. This reminded me of our own family get togethers at Grandma & Grandad’s house. The adults would sit at the big table, and the children would sit at the kiddies table. As the oldest cousin, I was still sitting at the kiddies table until I was around 18!

I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to be involved in my project (Yorkshire area for now but there may be a table tour later this year!). What do you use your table for? Is it a place you sit and watch the world go by? Have your tea, work, read? Plan big adventures? Play table tennis, look at your family photographs? Have arm wrestles, play board games, craft, chat? If you’re in the Yorkshire area, I’d love to add to the collection of images I have. Would you like to be a part of the project?

Here are a collection of shots and ideas so far.

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The tables themselves also have a story to tell. The grains and stains, the chips, the marker pen that doesn’t quite rub off. We swapped our kitchen table with our friends, and on there are felt tip marks from drawings and crafting projects, we don’t want to get rid of them.

These tables are where we eat together, talk together, take time to be alone. Laugh, play and plan. Would you like to be a part of it? We’d love to hear about you and your table.

An Inspiring Year

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At this time of year, we’d usually be compiling a post about what we’ve been up to over the last 12 months and sharing shoots we’ve had. We just wanted to do something a bit different this year and share work from artists that have really inspired us over the last year. There is work here about being in the inbetween years, documenting communities, family dynamics, generosity within the photography community, illustrations, light chasing, cinematic work, and starting over.

Siân Davey

Looking For Alice

Looking For Alice

When we scroll through Siân’s Instagram feed (that’s where we found her stunning work), we are always struck by the narrative in each post. How she weaves story of her own family life through the squares, and that light, so delicate and painterly in quality. Her work gives us goosebumps. I was a bit nervous when I wrote to Siân the other day, and then a lovely reply pinged into our inbox. One of our intentions this year is to let the people who inspire us know. Siân currently has 2 books published ‘Looking For Alice’ and ‘Martha’ about her daughters. Here’s a link to her Instagram feed is and here’s a link to Siân’s website. We’re sure you’ll feel the same way about her work as we do.

Martha

Martha

Lucy Saggers

Betty’s Baking Day - Lucy Saggers

Betty’s Baking Day - Lucy Saggers

We spied Lucy’s work back in 2017 and were struck by these timeless black and white images depicting village life in Yorkshire. Although Lucy has done a lot of of other work, it was this body of shots, Of Life and Land, that really spoke to us. The use of light and the tender relationships towards the people she’s photographing is incredibly moving. Back in March, we went to see her exhibition of the collection of shots, and we had the pleasure of meeting Lucy there too.

It was hard to pick a favourite, but I think it was a mini series of photographs about Lynne Lynch and Betty Fox. Lynne has been going round to Betty’s to wash, cut and blow dry her hair every 2 weeks since 1976. In this collection of shots about a small community, Lucy has stripped everything back to what matters, highlighting these relationships within a Yorkshire village. Here’s a link to her Instagram feed, and here’s a link to Lucy’s website.

Lynne Lynch washing Betty Fox’s Hair

Lynne Lynch washing Betty Fox’s Hair

Carolyn Mendelsohn

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When we realised that Carolyn’s exhibition Being Inbetween was being shown just down the road from where we live, there really was no excuse, and we would have travelled a lot further to see it. We were greeted by a collection of large format mounted prints, photos of girls in those inbetween years, 10-12. The exhibition explores their hopes, dreams, concerns. All are lit the same and taken with the same backdrop and the exhibition is accompanied by soundscape. We’ve been dabbling with sound in our films and it struck us how powerful the interviews were with the girls as we looked at their photos. The series is ongoing, and there is a book in development. You can see more about Being Inbetween at this link and more of Carolyn’s other work at her website here.

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Gemma Koomen

Ice Skating

Ice Skating

We became aware of Gemma’s work when we saw a little book all about Wild Swimming written by Flora Jamieson and illustrated by Gemma. It sits proudly on our bookshelf. Gemma’s illustrations awaken a childhood nostalgia, I think that’s why we’re so drawn to them. Little scenes play out, and our memories dance. We can hear the crunch of the snow and smell the washing on the line. They are full of hope and light, friendships and adventure. You can see her beautiful Instagram feed here and more of her work on her website here.

Laundry Day

Laundry Day

Natalie Kingston

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We’ve followed Natalie’s work from afar for a while, and we’re constantly blown away by her cinematography. She’s worked on numerous short films, commercials and music videos. We love those tones and the light she captures. See for yourself in her reel here . You can follow Natalie on Instagram here or watch more of her films on her website here.

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Diana Hagues

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Not only is Diana an exceptional documentary family photographer, but to us, she embodies the heart of community within the photography world. She organises meet ups and chat groups, always takes time to answer people’s questions, offers encouragement, and is just a thoroughly lovely person. She takes amazing self portraits too. Her work has just been showcased in the latest issue of Click Magazine 2018 Voice Collection (congratulations Diana!) You can follow Diana on Instagram here and see more of her work at her website.

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Joanne Coates

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A couple of years ago, we bought the Yorkshire Post as we were really drawn to a collection of photos in the weekend magazine. The photo series depicted the life on the seas with a group of fishermen. Jo was the photographer behind the images. As it says on her website, she has a documentary approach to everyday stories, she tells the story of working life. Jo’s Grandad used to fish the North Sea, and through this work, she found a shared connection with him. You can follow Jo at her Instagram feed here and see new project work at her website here.

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Annie Spratt

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Annie’s beautiful work captures the shifts in seasons in the New Forest where she lives, and further afield. Whatever landscape she’s taking, it feels like you’re right there with her. And that light!! She’s particularly generous with her work and she gifts photos every day to be used by the Unsplash community. You can follow her on Instagram here or take a look at her Unsplash page here.

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Joni Burtt

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We can always tell when it’s a Joni shot when it comes up on our feeds, with her images like film stills. Her candid take on her family life is beautiful, and with the words that accompany each photo, she lets us into her everyday life. We love a bit of freelensing in our photography, so we’re really drawn to those dreamy ethereal shots where Joni is using this technique. You can follow Joni on Instagram here, and see more of her work at her website here.

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Alex Sedgmond

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Alex wrote to me a few months back after he’d read my piece in Ernest Journal. We’ve had a few chats since then about our photography, health and light. I always love when a message pops up from him! He has so much integrity. His posts on Instagram really show his true passion, his wanderlust. He’s a kind soul. You can follow him on Instagram here and get stuck into his blog posts and other work here.

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Felicity Keefe

Beyond The Shadow

Beyond The Shadow

For the last few years, I’ve been a bit obsessed by how the Old Masters used light in their paintings and trying to adapt this into my photography. When I was looking for inspiration in paintings last year, I came across Felicity’s work. Her beautiful landscapes allow you to breathe it in, smell the morning dew, feel the cold air, hear the rain or a leaf falling from a stark branch. I love the movement, and of course the light. You can follow Felicity on Instagram here and see her collections and find out about exhibitions on her website here.

The Shifting Dusk

The Shifting Dusk


Here’s to an inspiring 2019. Maybe we’ve introduced you to someone you haven’t heard of yet, let us know! And we’re always keen to know about your favourites. Who’s inspiring you?

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