Musings, Photography

The Family Photographer

Full of life was she

With a glint of mischief

in those big brown eyes

What was she thinking?

As she stared into the camera

that day way back then.

In a town around the coast.

Her very first home.

Only her and the bro for a little while then,

three more to come, making it five.

 The family complete.

Us kids and Mum - outside Wellington Zoo (1 of 1)The above photograph was taken outside the Wellington Zoo.


Back in the day when we got dressed in our Sunday best!  Yes, it was acceptable and exhilarating for a child to have the opportunity to ride on an elephant back in the 1960s.

Sue TeRapa 1965

Elephant Ride

Which brings me to write about how important it is for someone in the family to capture those moments in time.  Our father excelled in taking the time to capture us during outings and family time as well as the extended family a large brood of cousins from both sides of the family.

Butler cousins in lineup (1 of 1)-2

A classic line of some of us all, some weren’t on the scene yet.  The noisiest child obviously got the ice-block or was he the best behaved!.

Kids & Cousins Jan66


Another cousin line up, just a few of us!

Butler-Donnelly cousins 2 (1 of 1)


The above photograph of a few cousins could have quickly been taken by our other family photographer, and that our lovely Nana Ballard.

So thanks, Dad, for being such a great photographer.  Hopefully, the next generations after us will keep the tradition going.  Though naturally in different formats than the ones we all started with such as the film roll.  Those moments of angst and fingers crossed. Hoping like anything that the processing went well. With what images that did come out, matching your expectations of what happened on the day.  Then came the excitement of developing that same film into slides for the projector.

The anticipation of waiting to hear that distinctive click-clack of the projector was very palatable back then, all of us sitting in a row on a large settee.  Something I am sure doesn’t happen at all now.  Then is the last time you sat down with folk to go through photographs’ of someone’s holiday or their latest addition to the family?

The Family Photographer (1)



51 thoughts on “The Family Photographer”

  1. Woohoo, the old Standard Vanguard. (Sorry Suzanne, I saw the car before I saw you 🙂 ) My grandfather had one of those. It had an overdrive switch which I always imagined was the olden days version of Star Wars hyperdrive!
    We used to love the Slide Shows too. The best fun was making shadow rabbits before and after the slides 🙂
    This is a great series of pictures – thanks Suzanne.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ross! Oh course, you would’ve seen the car and not the kid [me], you’re a lad 🙂 Yes, I remember doing the rabbit thing on the wall, though most of ours were done to scare the younger kids just before bedtime 🙂 Actually if my memory serves me correctly we scared ourselves more!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post,Suzanne. And, what special pictures you have shared. I agree, taking photos is important – especially for family down the line. My mother and I just finished scanning about 500 photos in that my great-grandfather had scrapbooked. We had so much fun looking through them. My nine-year old son even enjoyed it.

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  3. I just love old photographs. As a writer they leap out with your opening words. What were they thinking, what were they looking at, how did they grow up, did they take photos of their children? So many questions. I do the same in cemeteries looking at old headstones. Who was this person, what did they do, did they have good lives or tragic ones?

    Obviously here, I know you became a global housesitting blogger!! so nice to see the family album with you in 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it’s to do with the age of them. Printed photos are dwindling into electronics versions these days. Old black and whites and those with early colour are of a bygone age now. That’s where my draw comes in. Maybe in the future people will also be saying that about the media we use now!

        I figured there was more lol. But lets face it…you do get about the globe a fair bit 😉

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  4. Oh this is wonderful! I love all of these photos. My family were absolutely rubbish. I don’t think there’s any photos of my brother and I with our cousins (and we have quite a few too). I’m glad you had your Dad in the family to make sure these moments were captured. Do you think you’ve inherited your photography skills from him?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Our Nana was very keen at taking photos, and would always take 2 in case the first one didn’t work out 🙂 Maybe I did learn from Dad and Nana. Though I think I have a creative eye then a master of photographic skills. I am not a perfectionist in which to become a “proper” photographer. You can make up for it Hayley by taking lots of your daughter and her cousins/friends 🙂

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  5. I love looking at old photos – it isn’t quite the same scrolling on social media. I really like seeing printed photographs. Think it’s logely you can look back on these special memories x

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  6. Great family photos. Those pictures are priceless and always worth taking. I remember being told to stand still and smile so many times but it’s so worthwhile now. I guess everyone takes selfies now but they aren’t quite the same.

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  7. I remember the projector. My dad was a very keen photographer and developed his own photos for a while. There are lots of photos similar to yours, with lots of cousins lined up or sitting around a large table. The projector slides have been transferred to CD, so we’ll be able to enjoy them in the future.

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  8. What a lovely post and such memories…We have been doing a trawl through photos recently or the kids have and it has prompted us to do so…I have one with a car which is very similar I love seeing how fashions and things have changed but love the old sepia finish photos…A lovely post-Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Same for me Suzanne and hopefully a legacy for my kids when I am not here and who knows someone may dig my post out of some archives somewhere in 100 years time..I wonder what they would think ???

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Those are great! Yes, we had a slide projector too, in fact i’ve been scanning some of mum’s slides for her recently. We had dinner last week with some cousins of John’s, one of whom brought along some old photos. Very similar rows of children, though on a beach in this case.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. These photos and memories are precious, Suz!

    While I am a bit younger than you, I also remember watching the slides (we call them “dia’s”) on the projector screen with my parents. I did enjoy those screenings. There are way more slides of me and my brother’s childhood than photos. A big hassle to set up the entertainment system, but it was special. I wonder whether my dad still has all this gear. He might have digitilized the slides by now.

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