This is a photo I took of my brother flipping our cousin over in the pool, but there is so much more to how this image makes me feel than meets the eye.
In 2013 my family returned to South Africa for a family reunion on the coast. We met with cousins and aunts and uncles and everything in between. It was also the first time I had seen my brother in almost a year and a half. My parents, twin sister and my brother all immigrated together to Canada in 2009. As we graduated high school we each made a trip back home for the first time since we left. For my sister and I, that was in 2010, but my brother hung in there until 2012 to visit home again.
He never came back. At least, not when we expected him too. He became interested in a 1 year adventure program there and opted to stay longer. My aunt offered to take him in while he was there and so it was. Suddenly we weren’t going to see him for a good while. This was going to be the longest any of us in our family had spent apart from any one of us in a single go.
Little Dylan was not so little anymore when I saw him again in 2013. We arrived just in time for his graduation from his program, and the reunion, which would be the last few weeks he would be in South Africa. Within 20 minutes he challenged me to an arm-wrestle and won. Witnessed (and photographed) by my family, It was a close call but I knew I was losing from the get go. Until that day I had never lost to him, and I have not dared challenge him again.
Back to this photo: wearing his laser-red lifeguard shorts, Dylan flipped my cousin over in front of the entire family. In the time he was home, our cousin and him had the time to strengthen their friendship and you could see it playing out over and over as he flipped him again and again. It was so glaringly apparent that time had passed. Dylan was stronger. His confidence in himself was bold. He had grown so much in so many ways. This photo represents that moment of realization for me.
My brother and I stuck around for a few weeks longer than the family and travelled back to Canada together. These weeks were the first time both of us were hanging out as young adults and not teenagers anymore. 5 years have passed and so much has happened since, but this photo brings back all the feelings of that specific point in time. Feelings that were so particular to the time that I will never experience again, but can recall just by looking at an image.
“Photographs are powerful in many ways, but mostly in how they can make you feel exactly the same as you felt the moment an image was captured.“
PICNIC was started as a way for me to create images for families that can one day transport them back in time to feel the same way they did when the photos were taken. I know personally how meaningful a photo can be and how well it can age over the years. Thanks for stopping by and getting interested in what I’m up to with PICNIC. I look so forward to working with more families to create photographs that will be looked back on for a lifetime.