What is the favourite photo you have ever taken? What is about it that makes the image so special?

When I was asked this recently, I considered a photo taken of my father a couple of years before he passed away, back when he was still relatively healthy, delighted to be with two of his long-term friends at a blues music festival in 2016 he didn’t think he’d get to.

I also thought of a photo I took of myself at the Grand Canyon in 1987, the culmination of a decade planning the trip across the USA to reach this most majestic of wonders in Arizona.

But the photo I decided on was taken of my niece Laura at Allonby Beach in West Cumbria, UK. At the time Laura was approximately 7 years old and it was taken during a family afternoon walk in early autumn.

Several photos were taken on the day but this particular image just captures a moment when she crouched down as the sun was positioned at a point to create a silhouette and reflecting shadow in the sand.

Laura’s position in the shot also frames the picture nicely to take in the beautiful ocean vista beside her. Surrounded by footprints in the sand, I’ve always thought of the image as Laura considering her own footsteps she will create as she moves forward in her life.

Truth is, she was probably watching the family dog in the distance or wondering how likely it is she is to get an ice-cream. But hey, I’m aiming for something poetic here!

Now approaching her 29th birthday, with a first-class honour’s degree in Psychology and currently halfway through a Master’s degree to be a Physician Associate, it is nonetheless true Laura is creating her own footprints as she goes along.

On this particular day however, these were still to be made, and this is what helps to make it so special for me.   


  1. I can see why you like that photo so much. It is an outstanding shot that captures the beauty of the moment. We’ve got something else in common: our son is the same age as your niece. Newly engaged, I can’t wait for the day when he is bringing his children (our grandchildren) to the beach.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Paul and all. I am Laura’s Mum and I have that photo in a large frame on the wall next to my bed and so it is the first thing I see every morning. Good times or bad, it brings me joy and takes me back to that lovely family day. I will always be grateful for it, and all the wonderful photos my Brother has taken of both his Neices and our wonderful Dad over the years. Just one of his many talents that keep family memories alive. Love you Big Brother!!!! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks sis x photography freezes a moment in time and can make us reflect on the present and how sometimes things aren’t as negative as we think, there are so many blessings around us, none more so than the people we are closest to. No matter the difficulties and challenges you face and have faced, Emily and Laura are something me and Sandra will be endlessly grateful to you and Mark for bringing into our lives, they enrich it more than we can ever express xx


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