Since she took her first breath and became part of our family, my niece has been one of the greatest joys in our lives. She went from having dark brown hair to the most beautiful blonde locks. And those blue eyes of her are enough to make anyone’s heart melt. Yes, she is indeed my favourite little model. But having said that, she is also the hardest model to photograph due to her lively personality and stubbornness! She has her own strong little will and is definitely not interested in being bossed around by her photographer-aunt.
I’ve always wanted to photograph her in a messy situation and when last month’s assignment came up I knew it was time to get down and dirty! I set up a working space for her on our dining room table with all kinds of paint, paper, stamps and paintbrushes. At first she wasn’t too sure what to make of all of this. I could see she was a bit overwhelmed, but once she started painting, she couldn’t stop!
I asked my granny, my niece’s great grandma, to also join the shoot. She was a bit reluctant at first, but in the end I wasn’t quite sure who enjoyed it the most – my grandma, or my niece! Both of them were covered in paint by the time we were done.
It might have started out a planned and organised shoot, but it soon became spontaneous and lots of fun. It is something we will remember and cherish forever, because one day when my niece looks back at these photos, she’ll be like, “Yup, I had the coolest great grandma EVER!”
I think we too often take moments like these, and our loved ones, for granted. This assignment has made me realise, once again, how blessed and fortunate I am to have my granny, as well as my sister and her family, live a walking distance away from us. Our lives are intertwined and we’re constantly in each other’s space, but it’s great and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world!
Photo credits: Lindsay Basson.