Christmas, Childhood Memories
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Christmas, Childhood Memories

Come on let us go !, came the bellowing voice of my mother down the hall way in the house, at about four and a half years of age I had grown used to this loving command, and her style of ensuring that her children grew up loved, able to love and respectful as well as disciplined, call it "hard love" if you will. I did not quite like it at the time, but now I adore every bit of it and the memories it brings to me.

On this particular day I was so excited as I looked forward to this family outing, not only for the fact that we the children were going out on a leisure car ride with Mom, but we were visiting the family photographer on our way. What for?, I had asked my Mom, your father needs to see your latest photographs to guide his choice of clothes for your Christmas shopping in Paris. At that time my father was on a three year tour of duty in France, and regular photographs of all his children sent to him, had become a welcome family tradition if not ritual, and I loved it.

I am African,and I come from one of her tribes where the first male child was a mans most prized possession, such was my enviable position in my family that I am sure I had had over a thousand shots of photographs while still at the maternity ward after birth, perhaps this explains my love for photo shoots as a child. While my excitement almost boiled over as my Mom drove along the way to the photographers studio, severally, her son whom she was grooming to study medicine almost announced to her he would want to be a photographer, but thank God I was able to hold back this temptation which would have blown the joy of the day for every one especially Moms. I was awed by the sheer beauty of the countryside, and instinctively wished I could capture it with a , camera. This fascination for photography flowed in me as the distance to the studio ebbed to zero, we had finally arrived at the cameraman's hallowed chambers.

Those were the days when professional cameras came as a funny and rather grotesque contrivance of a lens, attached to a widening, pyramid-shaped, corrugated black box, with the photographic plate at the rear. The eyepiece towered over this contrivance like a chimney over a countryside cottage, and a lid that reminded me of the lid over the vertical exhaust pipe of an earth moving equipment.

The diminutive cameraman took his time to mount and organize the the tool of his trade, and severally came around to adjust the short family arc he had formed us into just about two meters in front of the camera on the rather short tripod stand. All of a sudden a loud scream came from behind his house, one of his children had had a domestic accident, off he scampered before the peak of the scream as if he had been expecting it. A few moments later he called out for help, he had a rather loud voice for a man of his size, but before Mom went to help she ordered that no one must shift from the arc.

There we all stood in front of the camera without a cameraman, neither moving even an eyelid nor as much as coughing, like some zombie commandos on parade. Any movement will diminish the quality of the shot, we had been told. Meanwhile some strange urge in me became so strong and before I knew it I had rushed to the camera on the tripod, helped myself with the cameraman's tool box by climbing on it just to have a look at the eyepiece of the camera.Mom and our host came running out, finding me on top of the tool box with my mouth still wide open, I had let out a loud scream without knowing it.

I continued to sob inconsolably, unable to quickly recover from the shock of what I had seen, all my siblings on the arc for the photo shoot were upside down as seen from the camera eyepiece. Mom was queried by Dad when he got the photo of me, his most prized possession with a swollen face, but I cherished that photograph all through my childhood and my love for photo shoots never ebbed.

Today cameras are beautiful, sleek, fashionable, and even smart, children love cameras and photo shoots even more than was the case in my time, why not consider a smart camera as a gift for camera lovers this Christmas, memories will surely be made of it.

Kindly Let me know when you have done so.

By Kelly.


Street Talk

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