Today’s ordinary is tomorrow’s extraordinary.

Shot on a trip to Singapore before we even left the Air BnB. She was struggling with a heavy plastic bag full of her things but refused help.  I treasure this moment above the more obvious holiday locations.

Shot on a trip to Singapore before we even left the Air BnB. She was struggling with a heavy plastic bag full of her things but refused help.  I treasure this moment above the more obvious holiday locations.

Social media has changed not just the way we share our photos but how we shoot them in the first place. And I don’t think it’s a good thing. As everyone strives to impress each other with their oh so exciting virtual lives, photos posted online have become homogenous, polished and, for want of a better word, sweet. What is absent is not the opposite but the ordinary and the mundane.


Our real memories of our lives are not made up of the good moments. We may try to forget for the most part the sad or tragic events. Our ‘real’ moments are made up of those times in between events. Certainly we’ll remember a good birthday party when we were a child or a great family holiday - but most of our best memories will consist of the ordinary. Our first trip on our own to the sweet shop to buy candy that no longer exists from a store that was torn down years ago. The street where we grew up that has been transformed beyond recognition. A train ride to the beach, not the beach itself, but their train ride there. That kid from across the road that used to play with me in my front garden, what’s his name? That time I stood crying my eyes out in the back yard being hosed down by my mother after I crawled through a rolled up sheet of fibreglass and got needle like fibers embedded all over my skin.

My two daughters traipsing through the long grass in Zhong Shan Park during Cherry Blossom Season. We go every year but someday we may not.

My two daughters traipsing through the long grass in Zhong Shan Park during Cherry Blossom Season. We go every year but someday we may not.

What I would give to have photos of those moments! Much more than the posed ‘say cheese’ smiles that my dad would snap on holidays. They were of course a necessary requirement and I’m glad we took them but I really wish somebody had also recorded those ordinary days that I now recall as a much more meaningful part of my life than the big moments.

I get her up for school every morning so I see this little face each day, but of course it’s changing all the time.

I get her up for school every morning so I see this little face each day, but of course it’s changing all the time.

This could have been shot almost anywhere (but probably a Wagas judging by the glass) at any time and it definitely doesn’t count as one of the great moments of her life. But I love her idleness dreaming of who knows what while enjoying the childish thrill of drinking through a straw.

This could have been shot almost anywhere (but probably a Wagas judging by the glass) at any time and it definitely doesn’t count as one of the great moments of her life. But I love her idleness dreaming of who knows what while enjoying the childish thrill of drinking through a straw.

So don’t put your phone or your camera away just because nothing is happening. The nothing may be one of the best moments of your or your child’s lives or at least your memory of them. Capture and keep it for prosperity. In the long run it will be worth far more than a visually beautiful but meaningless moment that garners hundreds of likes on Instagram from total strangers.

Sitting doing nothing on the rooftop garden  in the spring . I wish I had that much free time again. I set the camera up on a tripod to take random pictures but what we were doing was genuine and a great memory.

Sitting doing nothing on the rooftop garden in the spring. I wish I had that much free time again. I set the camera up on a tripod to take random pictures but what we were doing was genuine and a great memory.

Lola walking our dogs when we lived in Da An Garden in Shanghai. Nicky, the white one has passed away since at the grand old age of 18.

Lola walking our dogs when we lived in Da An Garden in Shanghai. Nicky, the white one has passed away since at the grand old age of 18.