Thursday Club – UK Family Photographer
The story of the “Thursday Club” immediately caught my attention when I heard about it. Jess and Alex were hiring me as a Christmas present for Alex’s family so that I could document Thursday lunch at Alex’s grandparents’ house. This weekly meal includes a standing invite to any family members who are available that day, and attendees can number anywhere from 5 to 22, but there’s always room for one more.
Being a UK family photographer has presented me with a number of interesting opportunities, but this session is one that spoke to me as a person, not just as a photographer. As someone who comes from a very large, close family, this sort of weekly gathering struck a chord with me. I love the idea of showing what it’s like for adults to get together (there was only one child at this week’s gathering) and enjoy one another’s company. Given my personal connection with my own grandparents, it was especially meaningful that they were choosing to document time with their grandparents while their elders were still healthy. I would have given anything to have had candid photos taken during any one of our many, MANY family meals, and am so thankful that I grew up in a house where having a camera out and ready was the norm.
So here’s the deal with Thursday Club: Raymond does the cooking, Sylvia hunts flies, someone finds plastic in their meal, the men do the serving, Peter tells stories of their childhood – including a howler about using a bed as a launch pad that caused the reactions you’ll see below – that make you wonder how he and Raymond survived to adulthood, there’s dessert and chocolates, there’s cheese, and everyone has a dram of whiskey. While the only part of that to happen every week is the bit about Raymond doing the cooking, the rest DID happen on the day that I joined them and it all made for a very entertaining afternoon. Watching adult family members spend time together while not focused on children (a rarity for me, especially since our little lady this day was wonderfully well-behaved and impressively independent), swapping stories, and genuinely enjoying one another’s company made me realise how important it is to document even the seemingly ordinary. That peaceful, adoring expression on Sylvia’s face while she listens to Raymond tell a story is one of my favourite images from this session. It’s a privilege to follow coupes through their wedding day and document such a huge occasion, but the quiet peacefulness that comes with decades of marriage, successfully raising eight (!) children, and still actually liking one another’s company – well, THAT is what marriage is about.
I so enjoyed my time with the Darnley/Hall gang and am so grateful to have been invited along to witness such a special family tradition!
I’m Ang – a Cornwall, Ontario-based photographer with a valid passport, dual citizenship, and a passion for photographing natural moments in life as they happen anywhere in the world. My goal is to capture memories that you will cherish once your life starts to change – whether that’s because your children are too grown up to curl into your lap for cuddles or because your memory starts to not be what it used to be. I love meeting new families in their natural environment and getting in amongst the bedlam so that I can document the perfectly imperfect realities of daily life. Please explore more of www.momentusstudio.com to see more examples of family photography. I visit the UK regularly and am happy to work with clients wherever life takes them.