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  • Writer's pictureCara Hodge

Pandemic family portrait

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Well then. Here is one I missed earlier. A quick family portrait at Dublin airport of my son & daughter as we were waiting to fly from Dublin to Bordeaux, France. After about 3 months of "lockdown" in Blackrock Dublin we were ready to get away and grateful for it. My focus in the past few months, however, has not been documenting the pandemic in terms of photography. I am sure that there will be some amazing documentary & street photography out of this global upheaval, but for me, the emphasis has been trying to forget as much as possible that it's been an enduring aspect of our lives. Any opportunity to escape in any way possible has been more enticing - movies, reading, going for walks, and taking photographs that have, actually, nothing to do with this virus, has been a break from the doom and gloom. In fact, this picture was the first taken outside the home in quite a while, given the enduring isolation. This picture was taken just after we had bought snacks from the airport cafe. My two were pretty excited to fly and were hugging, laughing, and generally messing, and so I took a quick couple of shots of them in their masks. Masks were not mandatory for daily life in Dublin, the emphasis being keeping social distancing at 2m between people. However, at the airport and inside the plane, the masks were mandatory. I quite like the slight vigilante feel of this picture. There have been many memes floating about likening the pandemic to the zombie apocalypse and, to a certain extent, this picture has a feel that these two are escaping something. As soon as masks are frozen in the frame, there is a sense of menace. Impending danger. Unease. I like the glint in my son's eye, the anticipation os something happening (even if it's less zombie attack and more anticipation of croissants on destination). It's not a favourite picture but it does capture the mood of the moment, the sign of the times. The airport lighting is not the best in the world, but there was at least some natural light coming through a window to the left. The portrait looks better in black & white as the artificial lighting is too yellowish. Also a black & white portrait can capture expression and gesture well. The unnecessary details recede and we can focus on the expressions. I have now been in France for about 6 weeks, taking as many pictures as I can. I'll be back in Blackrock, Dublin, in less then two weeks and available for all kinds of photo sessions, including engagement, maternity, new baby, family, debs, and any other family occasion, big or small. With a photograph precious moments can last forever - even when it's a mask moment, I suppose.

brother and sister waiting at Dublin airport wearing a mask during the pandemic

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