The Perfect Family - Part VIII
How lucky I was to be in Stockholm at precisely at 13:20 on July 25th 2016. To have an opportunity to take the photos I did felt like a moment custom made for me and my photographic tendencies, though my camera would beg to differ. Let me rewind a little.
A few weeks back, I received contact from a Russian family who were travelling to Stockholm and were looking for a photographer to document their son's 3rd birthday, a day in which they would traverse the wonderful archipelago of Sweden's capital city. A trip to a museum (Junibacken) themed after some of Scandinavia's favourite children's tales made for a delightful experience for all, myself included. I couldn't help but imagine my own little critters springing from the giant ape to the Mumin merry-go-round with the same joyful expression as their own child did. Having my camera in-hand was a thrill. Needless to say, a trip with my own kids is already in the pipeline.
Walking back to the hotel along an avenue sheltered by vibrant green leaves, we spotted across the water in the harbour that an enormous cloud had collapsed in on itself and had released its full might onto the poor onlookers below. Knowing we would soon be on the receiving end of the downpour (but not quite knowing what was really at hand), we casually began our search for a taxi to safely take us home and spare me having to claim for a new camera from the insurance company. We were doomed from the start however, and soon found that our search was in vain, as the winds swept up to frantic heights, showed the city how puny we humans really are and forced us to take cover under the safety of a café tarpaulin under a veritable blitz of hail pellets. Chairs fell and flew, people scrambled frantically and drivers lost all sense of the rules which govern the safe navigation of such a grand metropolis. Saying this, the father of the family, a fine, calm young man, was completely unphased by the unfolding events and casually strolled into the abyss with the aim of securing safe passage for his beloved kin. While the rest of us cowered, he prevailed.
Having jumped in the cab, the relief was palpable and the unrelenting laughter was both relieving and invigorating, as we found ourselves drenched from head to toe and completely helpless at the hands of the elements. The creative spark in me was activated just there and then as I sought to document in as accurate a way as possible the feelings and fears that come about in such a sudden change of conditions. I snapped what is probably my favourite image of the entire trip and one of my most accomplished images (all according to me of course!). My Russian friends will not be framing this week's title image above the mantle, but it will remind them of that unexpected 20 minutes we spent together in Stockholm's fragile weather bubble. Though the raindrops and humidity did not make for the world's prettiest picture, they sure sculpted a unique moment for a wonderful family who are likely to remember their trip through these photos for a long time to come.
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