Reeling in love: capturing timeless memories over a fish supper

Ah, Valentine’s Day – a day for heartfelt gestures. In our house, we don’t do the flowers and chocolates. For us, it’s a card (sometimes endearing, sometimes rude), and a fish supper. It may not sound romantic to some, but it’s our tradition and we love it. What we seldom do is take a photo to mark the occasion – and we’re commercial photographers: bonkers, right? Amidst all the greasy salt ‘n’ vinegar romance, we overlook the importance of capturing those precious moments with a photograph. There’s no excuse for us: we have loads of cameras and a studio but that’s all unnecessary when such occasions only warrant a quick snap with a phone camera. Although we take thousands of portrait and lifestyle images every year, we appreciate the power of a well-timed snapshot in preserving memories and cherished moments.


The selfie struggle: Alan and I know all too well the eternal selfie struggle of taking couple-photos when one of you is a professional photographer: we come back from a trip and download screeds of beautiful landscapes, candid shots of friends, pics of me that I hate, pics of the dog that make me cry, and the occasional dodgy selfie. There is seldom a good pic of the two of us and even fewer of the photographer himself. So, note to self, make the effort to turn the camera on Alan now and again, and brush up on selfie-taking techniques and tips. I’ll share these in a future post once I power through the disaster phase and master the art. Needless to say, Alan took the one below.


Memory lane: Beyond the comical mishaps, there’s a deeper significance to capturing moments with your loved ones (read child, furry baby, parents, pals). Photos serve as a time capsule, preserving the essence of a moment long after it has passed. Whether it’s a stolen glance during a fish tea or a moment from a spontaneous adventure, these snapshots freeze time and allow us to relive those feelings whenever we please.


A lasting legacy: As commercial photographers, we create visually appealing images for our clients to help them sell their services, their products, and people. They trust us to capture their offering just right. But when it comes to our personal lives, the stakes are also high – we’re not just capturing a moment; we’re creating a legacy. These photos aren’t meant for a portfolio; they’re meant to be treasured by us when we’re old and by our children when we’re not around. It’s the goofy smiles, the sideways glances, and the quiet moments that tell our stories, and, as Margaret Atwood said, “In the end, we’ll all become stories.” As most of us don’t have a professional photographer following us around (not even me), we must embrace the imperfections and cherish the memories we’ve captured together.


The art of balance: Finding the balance between being behind the lens (working) and in front of it (not working) isn’t easy – I don’t think we’ve mastered that aspect in 25 years of business, but it doesn’t stop us making the effort to try. So, this Valentine’s Day we’ll embrace the art of photography not for its commercial value, but for its ability to freeze time and create lasting memories. We’ll take that selfie, put the camera down and be present in a romantic fish supper moment.


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. ❤️

Edit, 15 February 2024

While I demonstrate that I need to practice the art of selfie-taking, at least I have my memory pic to make me smile…

Phonesnap selfie on Valentine's Day 2023