Ever feel that you weren’t your parents’ favourite child? As though, at best, you were adopted, at worst, they didn’t actually like you much? After wading through a box of old family photos I couldn’t help but come away with an inferiority complex. The reason? I seem to have been cropped out of many many family photos.
Don’t believe me? Be prepared to chortle at my lack of status in the family photo album. I’ve taken shots of the pictures in question on my phone. I’ve included part of the desk on which the photos were placed as I snapped them to reassure you that I haven’t cropped them myself for dramatic effect. The pink arrow also indicates me. Believe me, sometimes spotting me from a partial body part is harder than Where’s Wally. Wally’s Parents Didn’t Love Him edition.
Not that it was always the way. Before my sister came along I could easily be identified in family photographs:
But then my sister came along and either my family forgot how to frame a picture or I stopped being the focus of their attention.
Think that’s not too bad? Possibly just a slip of the camera? Here’s another shot taken the same day!
No wonder my sister’s laughing!
Or how about this one of my sister and me (if you can call it that) sat on the Buddha statue at Sandringham?
Alternatively, here’s one of my sister and my hand with my dad. I’m so glad they omitted me for the sake of the boxes in shot.
Or this one where an expanse of grass and some sort of car boot affair takes precedence over me stood with my nan and sister.
Again, two shots taken the same day, both with me hanging onto the left-hand side of the frame.
My family can’t even blame the camera, as the style of print changes three times over the course of my cropping. Here’s a later version of us having fun at Pleasurewood Hills theme park:
It does appear that my sister and I always stood in the same formation, pre-dating Ant and Dec. If only I’d sometimes stood on the other side I wouldn’t have been cut off so often. Didn’t make a jot of difference, as it turned out.
(That other family captured on the train? Complete strangers. Yet the photo has remained amongst our family photos for nearly 30 years.)
(There did seem to be a lot of photos of my sister and I sitting/standing on various cars as kids. I’m not quite sure what that was about. Must have been a 70s/80s thing.)
There was also a lot of photos of just me…yet still cropping me out of the frame. The selection included:
I appear to be doing a Wack-a-wave in the photo above, so maybe deserve to be cropped from shot. But still, nothing reminds a person of their first holiday abroad like an expanse of white wall.
It wasn’t just bad framing that obliterated me from a shot either. I’m fully in frame for the next few photos and yet still not there:
Happy Birthday, me.
I would say that at least by being cropped from shots I’m saved the hideousness of my childhood wardrobe. And yet, looking through these pictures I still get an acute sense of my wardrobe being a one-child crime against fashion. Particularly the 80s. What was I/my parents thinking?!
Things haven’t really got any better as I’ve got older either (neither sartorially nor in terms of photographic representation). I’m always the person behind the camera (as no one else knows how to use it, or so they claim). The only photos that exist of me nowadays are selfies (minus the duck-face).
But I do also wonder what my children will think of me should they one day explore through my SD cards. Especially Noodles. He’s usually so fast I tend to catch him only from behind.
I’m claiming it as a personal style though: the world through Noodles’ eyes. And he does have a very cute back. Or, at least, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. It’s nothing personal and I love all of my children equally. Honest.